Dec 5, 2019 - Energy & Environment

OPEC and Russia near deal on deeper crude cuts, reports say

OPEC and allied producers — notably Russia — are coalescing around a plan to deepen their joint crude oil production restrictions by 500,000 barrels per day, according to multiple reports from Vienna, where the OPEC+ group is currently gathered.

Why it matters: The emerging agreement signals how petro-states are grappling with how to prop up prices amid rising supplies from the U.S. and elsewhere, and sluggish global demand that's hampered by trade battles.

Where it stands: Per Reuters and the Financial Times, the plan would add 500,000 barrels per day to the current 1.2 million barrel daily restriction that runs through March of next year.

  • However, the FT reports that the final agreement from the meeting, which concludes Friday, could be substantially deeper.

The intrigue: The Houston Chronicle notes that the top-line numbers don't capture the whole story of the status of the three-year-old production-limiting arrangement.

  • They report that the likely agreement "essentially translates to Saudi Arabia remaining below its previous production allowance, while requiring better compliance from perpetual quota violators" including Iraq, Nigeria and Russia.
  • "In practice, a 500,000-barrel cutback might equal about a 100,000-barrel reduction from current output levels," they report.

Go deeper: OPEC's moment of decision on oil production cuts

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