As expected, it appears the OPEC+ group (includes Russia) will delay its forecasted January oil production hike by 3 months, according to sources who’ve spoken with Algeria’s energy minister Abdelmadjid Attar. This is contingent upon agreement at tomorrow’s meeting. No official announcement has been made. Currently January WTI futures are trading lower by $0.81 to $44.72/barrel as a classic “buy the rumor, sell the fact” scenario may be playing out.
The US election is a mere 3 weeks away and most experts agree that oil will remain on steady ground until after the election is decided. Covid-19, renewables, and consumer behaviors have brought crude to the brink several times since March. The US Shale industry has been forced to endure the worst market conditions in crude history over the past 6 months. Most recently, crude has spiked and leveled off several times in the last couple weeks, but analysts believe it should remain trading between $40-$43/bbl through the election.
Ever since WTI crude oil prices broke out above the $32/barrel level in May, we have been on a steady grind higher. The question is, will this continue?
During last week’s OPEC + meeting the group agreed to keep production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day until the end of July. This effort has helped bolster oil prices to levels of almost double the values in April. The prior OPEC + meeting brought forth the creation of a new advisory group, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee. According to Reuters, “To step up consultations on the effectiveness of the agreement, OPEC+ also agreed that a panel called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee or JMMC, will meet monthly until the end of 2020. Its first such meeting is on Thursday next week… “It’s an advisory committee that can make recommendations,” one of the OPEC+ sources said of the JMMC’s role, declining to be identified by name.” The member nations that compose the JMMC are Algeria, Kuwait, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, plus non-OPEC countries Russia and Kazakhstan.
As we near the end of May, we will put behind us one of the most bullish rallies for the WTI crude oil contract in history with crude jumping almost 75% this month alone. Of course, with WTI prices currently trading at $33.33/barrel, that’s not saying much, as it is widely perceived the breakeven price for domestic crude producers is $32/barrel. The question is: will this rally persist? Let’s review some components to watch out for this summer.