Is This The Most Contentious OPEC Meeting Yet?

Both Saudi Arabia and Russia recently increased their oil production levels, an indication that they are getting a head start on higher output even as possible changes to the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement remain up in the air.

There is growing discord from within OPEC, with Iraq joining a group of those opposed to higher output levels. Iraq’s oil minister said that the objective of the cuts has not yet been achieved, and that Iraq “rejects unilateral decisions made by some producers which do not consult with the rest.” Those comments come after Venezuela and Iran formerly requested solidarity against U.S. sanctions, and lobbed angry statements at Saudi Arabia for seeming to comply with U.S. requests for higher oil production.

The solidifying opposition among a solid portion of OPEC against higher output comes even as Saudi Arabia ratcheted up production by somewhere between 85,000 and 161,000 bpd in May, likely taking output back above 10 million barrels per day (mb/d). Russia also boosted production by more than 50,000 bpd in early June. Because the top two oil producers are already starting to increase output, and they are pretty much the only ones in favor of increasing production, the OPEC meeting is shaping up to be highly contentious

 

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