After 2020’s unpredicted decline in oil prices and subsequent response by OPEC+ to cut oil production as means to buoy oil prices, the world’s largest exporter Saudi Arabia, plans to reverse its position and increase its production in the coming months. This comes as WTI oil prices have traded to as low as negative $40/barrel back in April 2020, to currently trading at $60.42/barrel. Earlier this month OPEC+ leaders said they would cut production by one million barrels per day, with efforts to raise prices during the months of February and March.
We are a mere 7 days into a new year, and have already seen the first oil rally in the markets. Many factors have played a role in the first rally of the new year. Oil has been tumultuous over the last 11 months but has seen some stability and positivity since Biden’s election win in November. Biden was confirmed by the senate to be the 46th President of the United States of America and he will have a democratic controlled House and Senate to put his plans into action.
OPEC+ came to an agreement earlier this month to institute record-breaking production cuts of nearly 10 million barrels per day. The production cuts were set to take effect on May 1st, but some members have taken it upon themselves to start earlier. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have both made the decision to start scaling back production to work towards the production cut goal. Saudi Arabia has scaled back production from 12 million barrels per day(bpd) over the weekend to reach its goal of 8.5 million bpd. Kuwait is OPEC’s fourth largest producer and they have also made the decision to start the cuts early. Kuwait’s Oil Minister Khaled Al-Fadhel said that starting the cuts early was because they felt a responsibility to address the market conditions.
Over the weekend, it came as a surprise to the oil industry when prices crashed more than 30% after the recent OPEC+ alliance issued an all-out price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, leading the market with cheaper oil. During the OPEC+ meeting last week, Russia rejected a proposal to cut 1.5 million barrels per day of production.
Saudi Aramco had its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) last week debuting on the Tadawul, Saudi Stock Exchange at a valuation of $1.88 trillion. Aramco’s public debut made it the world’s largest IPO ever, toppling the previous record holder Alibaba in 2014 when they raised $25 billion. When the market closed today in the capital city of Riyadh, Aramco had a market value of over $2 trillion.