OPEC Is Not Dead, Just Changed, IHS Markit's Yergin Says
Oil in London surged by as much as 5.4 per cent as OPEC was said to agree on a larger-than-expected deal with its allies to reduce output.
The producer alliance will collectively curb production by 1.2 million barrels a day, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries concluded a second day of meetings in Vienna on Friday, more than expected cuts of 1 million barrels a day that had been discussed earlier. Russia also agreed to join the proposals, a delegate said. OPEC failed to reach on agreement in its first round of meetings Thursday.
“Finally they got one, nobody really believed it after the morning hours,” Commerzbank AG analyst Carsten Fritsch said by phone. “It’s mainly due to the lowered expectations before the deal.”
Oil had plunged by more than 30 per cent earlier this month from a four-year high in October, as concern over excess supply was fueled by sanctions waivers given for some buyers of Iranian oil and growing U.S. crude inventories and production. Friday morning saw meetings between Russia’s energy minister and his Iranian and Saudi counterparts, as producers sought to hammer out a deal to reduce output.
Brent for February settlement added as much as US$3.26 to US$63.32 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, after falling 2.4 per cent on Thursday. It traded at US$62.87 a barrel by 9:07 a.m. New York time. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery gained US$2.15 to US$53.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.