Oil may fall to $40, experts warn OPEC

An oil frack. SOURCE Google

An oil frack. SOURCE Google

For Saudi Arabia, Opec's de facto leader, a global oil price plunge would spell trouble for its state-owned energy corporation only months after its market debut on Riyadh's stock exchange.

Opec's deliberations on Thursday in Vienna took more than five hours, prompting the cancellation of a news conference and a gala dinner for delegates aboard a boat on the Danube.

The fundamentals for oil suggests an imbalance in the market through 2020.

Under the new deal, the size of the OPEC+ daily production cuts target will be increased from 1.2 million barrels to 1.7 million barrels, compared to a baseline of October 2018, according to ministers including Russia's Alexander Novak and Iran's Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

"The outlook will be bleak if OPEC+ fails to agree on additional cuts".

Secondary sources were designated OPEC and non-OPEC production reference sources, while some countries had stated prior to the 177th OPEC meeting that they would not accept secondary sources as such, and that it was preferable for each country to report their oil output.

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh told reporters as he left the meeting in the Austrian capital late on December 5, "Yes, we have an agreement". Brent, the worldwide benchmark, recorded an increase of 86 cents to $64.25 a barrel while the U.S. benchmark gained 77 cents to $59.20 a barrel. Unsurprisingly, this is reportedly where there has already been disagreement - all members want the group to cut, but no one really wants to carry the burden themselves.

The cuts offset an expected increase from countries that are not part of OPEC+, including top producer the United States.

Washington's ongoing trade dispute with China has also clouded the economic and therefore oil demand outlook for 2020.

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark crude, was trading above $58.

OPEC's actions have supported oil prices at around $50-$75 per barrel over the past year. That might change if oil and gasoline prices rise ahead of the US presidential election set for November 2020.

On Wednesday, Ghadhban said he would support at least extending existing cuts to end-2020 from March: "We have to give a positive signal to the market and to me at least we should roll-over present agreement". Novak had argued that a recent increase in production of that hydrocarbon, which is extracted from natural gas fields, was the only reason Russian Federation was falling short of its pledge.

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