Published: Tue, March 07, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Energy ministers of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia discuss oil production cuts

Energy ministers of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia discuss oil production cuts

That may happen even as crude stockpiles in the USA and elsewhere climb over the next few years, the IEA said in its "Oil 2017" report.

The Joint Technical Committee was created January 22 under the OPEC Monitoring Committee, designed to monitor the implementation of countries' obligations to cut oil production.

Crude oil prices drifted lower early Monday after China lowered its economic growth estimate and USA exploration and production activity gained further ground.

USA crude oil rose on Friday as the market took a breather after three days of decline, but prices are being anchored by Russia's output remaining unchanged in February, indicating weak compliance on a global deal to cut supplies.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih, who assumed his role last spring and whose country has contributed the largest share of OPEC output curbs, addresses the meeting on Tuesday. Though OPEC oil inventories have been falling, USA oil inventories are steadily rising.

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Chief executives from five hard-hit global oil producers - BP, Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell and Total - will be listening closely to the ministers' comments to see if those production curbs will be extended past their June expiration.

The oil market's failure to break out of the tightest range in more than a decade is sapping investor interest. Commerzank noted that Russia's production would need to fall by a further 100,000 bpd in March in order to comply with the agreement. Better prices could stir a new round of merger activity, according to some analysts.

Global benchmark Brent crude was down 0.98 per cent, at $55.35 per barrel, after it finished the previous session up 1.5 per cent. "There has been two years of substantial decline in investments", Birol said.

"If we don't start to get big inventory draws soon this market is in big trouble", Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $6.1 billion, said by telephone.

The IEA sees the "the number one source of supply growth" by adding 1.6 million barrels per day (mbpd) of production by 2022, according to the agency's Oil 2017 Report released Monday.

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