Nearly a year after oil markets entered a deep downward spiral, unmoored from the $100-a-barrel mark that had anchored them for years, some OPEC members are publicly talking for the first time about a new "fair" price for their crude.
U.S. oil production has grown rapidly in recent years. EIA data, which reflect combined production of crude oil and lease condensate, show a rise from 5.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2011 to 7.5 million b/d in 2013, and a record 1.2 million b/d increase to 8.7 million b/d in 2014.
The agreement struck between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran on March 2 paved the way for a comprehensive deal to begin lifting sanctions in late June. Iran has been off limits to most foreign investors for nearly a decade. Unsurprisingly, it is regarded as El Dorado by many international corporations, particularly those in the energy sector.
Exxon is the world’s largest listed energy group, and like all big international oil companies it is facing structural challenges that make it difficult for it to grow. Stability while throwing off a lot of cash may be the best they can do.
OPEC oil ministers expressed optimism about their strategy of pumping more crude oil and fighting for market share, amid expectations they will stick to their production target when they meet at the end of the week.
Russian oil output remained unchanged in May at a post-Soviet high of 10.71 million barrels per day (bpd), Energy Ministry data showed on Tuesday, three days before OPEC meets to decide on output levels.
The top oil officials of Iraq and Venezuela said on Wednesday that $75 to $80 a barrel was now a "fair" price for oil, reflecting an emerging consensus on a possible equilibrium for volatile markets
An increasingly assertive China has warned that World War 3 is "inevitable" unless the United States stops meddling in the South China Sea affairs. Earlier this week, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said in a new white paper that it is going to up the ante in the South China Sea. In a sign of its growing self-confidence, Beijing said that it would now focus less on defensive capabilities, and step up efforts to build offensive capabilities.
The US and EU sanctions are primarily targeted at the country's oil industry, for very obvious reasons. Russia provides about 30% of Europe's gas, so it's simply not in the EU's interests to compromise Gazprom's ability to produce and export gas.
OPEC, which controls a third of the global oil market, and Russia, which produces another 12 percent, are unlikely to reverse their output strategy.