Little change in oil prices – debate about OPEC response to emergency release
NEW YORK / LONDON (dpa-AFX) – Oil prices moved little on Thursday. At midday, a barrel (159 liters) of North Sea Brent cost 82.25 US dollars. That was three cents more than the day before. The price of a barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 11 cents to $ 78.28.
After the release of strategic oil reserves by large consuming countries like the USA, everything on the oil market revolves around the reaction of the producing countries. It is questionable whether the oil network Opec + will maintain the course it has embarked on in the summer and whether its production will continue to increase by 400,000 barrels per month. The representatives will meet next Thursday to decide on future oil production.
Commerzbank expert Carsten Fritsch, meanwhile, expects an oversupply of crude oil in the coming year. It should be particularly large in the first quarter because then demand is also lower. In addition, the reserves are released. “Opec + could therefore consider suspending or at least reducing the production increase planned for January,” said Fritsch. According to various media reports, this is being discussed at Opec +.
Refraining from increasing funding would probably further heat up the already tense atmosphere. On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) told Saudi Arabia and Russia that their course of moderate increases in production would create an artificial shortage on the oil market.
The two countries actually lead the 23 countries of Opec +. The release of reserves by the consuming countries is also seen as a reaction to the refusal of Opec + to expand its production. The background to the debate is the high oil prices, which are seen as a threat to the economic recovery./jsl/bgf/mis
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