Global oil fundamentals on the eve of Opec

Author Toby Shelley

After a year and a half of lower crude prices, there is little expectation that Opec, under pressure from dominant force Saudi Arabia, will change course at this week’s meeting.

After a year and a half of lower crude prices, there is little expectation that Opec, under pressure from dominant force Saudi Arabia, will change course at this week’s meeting.

While higher-cost members of the oil-producing group are feeling the pinch of oversupply, those urging a change in course will struggle to get a hearing. Saudi Arabia is determined to continue producing oil at a high rate to defend its market share against competitors.

But next year Opec — and non-Opec producers — will face Iran’s emergence from the shadow of international sanctions, potentially adding to oversupply.

Opec ministers will meet in Vienna on 4 December.

See how rising demand has been outweighed by rising supply while lower prices have squeezed US oil rig operations over the past 18 months in the below infographic.

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