OPEC deal: How long can oil producers maintain reduced output?


Kuwait's oil minister said the market may return to balance by the third quarter of this year if producers comply fully with their production targets. Russian Federation will target its pledged reduction of 300,000 barrels a day by the end of April, he said.

At the December meeing, 11 non-OPEC oil producers cooperated with the 13 OPEC member countries in a concerted effort to accelerate the rebalancing of the global oil market through an adjustment in combined production of 1.8 million barrels per day.

Fear of accelerating output by USA shale-oil producers has been among the biggest threats to the upending the global agreement to limit the free flow of crude oil.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers who signed up to the cuts are scheduled to hold a crucial meeting in late May to consider whether to extend the reductions.

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Futures rose as much as 0.7 per cent in NY after gaining 0.6 per cent on Friday.

Global benchmark Brent crude was down 70 cents at $50.10 by 1333 GMT (9:33 a.m. ET), after falling as low as $50.06.

Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil, had risen 15 cents from their last close to $50.90 per barrel by 0120 GMT. It now seems OPEC is not prepared to wait until June and has instead chose to take action at this weekend's meeting.

Oil prices edged up on Tuesday on a weaker dollar, but crude continued to be weighed down by surging us production and uncertainty over whether an OPEC-led supply cut is big enough to rebalance the market.

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Representatives of the five monitoring countries this weekend are expected to review where producers stand on compliance with the six-month agreement to remove 1.8 million barrels a day from the market. "Crude prices tested the support at $50 per barrel for Brent and rebounded from there", said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

The JMMC called on all countries, participating in the oil output cut agreement, to press toward a 100-percent conformity. The dropping of the recommendation to extend cuts in favor of a technical review committee is a negative. Boutarfa asked for the cuts to be extended for three or four months. "So this time it is trying out another US crude", the source said.

Angola, another OPEC member, previously signaled a willingness to back the decreases in output beyond the first half of this year.

In a Bloomberg interview conducted on March 19, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that oil market fundamentals are moving in the right direction and that OPEC will review the situation no sooner than the middle of 2017.

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However, the ability of USA shale producers to offset Opec's cuts has made efforts to reduce inventory somewhat elusive, said analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.