Market Overview

Russia May Shun OPEC's Production Cut Strategy, Strategist Says

Russia May Shun OPEC's Production Cut Strategy, Strategist Says

OPEC ministers will gather on Thursday in Vienna and attempt to reach a consensus on expanding a 2016 oil supply cut beyond March of next year.

The Expert

Helima Croft, managing director and global head of commodity strategy with RBC Capital Markets.

The Strategy

Oil prices could fall to the downside following the OPEC meeting.

The Thesis

OPEC nations agreed in late 2016 to cut back on oil supplies in an attempt to boost stabilize falling oil prices.
The agreement received support from various non-OPEC members, such as Russia, but the nation may not be in board for further supply cuts, Croft said during a recent CNBC "Trading Nation" segment. Multiple Russia-based oil firms have already made their opposition to ongoing cuts beyond the first quarter of 2018 publicly known.

"People are concerned that when Russia shows up [to the OPEC meeting] they may relinquish their co-pilot role," Croft said. "And if Russia is not willing to sign up again to extend the cuts, people fear we are going to get something shorter than anticipated."

Given the major question mark surrounding Russia's support for oil cuts the risk to the oil market is skewed to the downside, Croft said. Unless an extension is signed for the full year 2018, the oil market could see a similar reaction to what happened in May when OPEC released a statement that it has failed to reach a consensus and oil prices fell 2 percent.

Venezuela could prove to be another "wildcard" for the oil market as the country could

Price Action

Crude traded at $58 per barrel last week, which marks its highest level since 2015. WTI crude oil is up 8 percent for the year, but still lower by 40 percent over the past decade.

Related Links:

Don't Expect OPEC To Make Changes To Its Agreement

Is The OPEC Deal Falling Apart?


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