Oil Holds Surge As OPEC+ Panel Recommends Large Supply Cut
Oil was steady ahead of an OPEC+ meeting as the alliance considers the biggest supply cut since 2020 to help revive prices.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil held a two-day surge after an OPEC+ panel recommended the biggest supply cut since 2020 to revive prices.
West Texas Intermediate futures traded near $87 a barrel after jumping almost 9% over the previous two sessions. Oil briefly neared $88 after members of the producer group advised cutting as much as 2 million barrels a day from current output limits. That’s double the volume previously flagged. The full meeting of OPEC and its allies must ratify the proposal.
A cut of that magnitude would reflect the scale of concern from the alliance about the outlook for energy demand in the face of rapidly tightening monetary policy. The US benchmark recently capped its first quarterly loss in two years after giving up all the gains made following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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There are some conflicting signals however -- as the group meets, markets for refined products are surging. Diesel in Europe is in its biggest backwardation since July, indicating tight supply, while gasoline and heating oil in the US have also jumped.
“These are unusual times and this is going to be an unusual cut, this is a signaling cut,” said Bob McNally, founder and president of Rapidan Energy. “The message is: look market we will hold the downside of this price, we will fix this disconnect between paper prices and fundamentals.”
Saudi Arabia may also announce an extra voluntary cut in its own oil output, potentially augmenting a group-wide agreement to curb supply, RBC Capital Markets said in a note. Riyadh has made additional production moves on several occasions since December 2016.
The reduction is likely to draw criticism from the US and other major oil-consuming nations, which have been battling energy-driven inflation.
“There is quite a lot of negative sentiment in the market about the outlook for demand,” said Caroline Bain, Chief Commodities Economist at Capital Economics Ltd. “I really feel there is a disconnect at the moment between the financial oil market and the physical markets for oil.”
Complicating the supply outlook is a proposed price cap on Russian oil, which a US official said could be announced within weeks. The European Union backed a new package of sanctions that includes support for a price cap on oil sales, people familiar with the matter said.
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