OPEC GRAPPLES WITH GROWING THREATS TO OIL DEAL
Major oil producers aren’t keeping the promises they made in a deal to curb the global oil supply, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and external allies met Monday to address the fact that they pumped too much crude in June.
The flood of oil potentially jeopardizes a deal that the oil-cartel struck last year with 10 outside producers including Russia to cut global supply by about 2% and drain a worldwide oil glut.
Several countries admitted to going over the limit set by the deal.
“Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter and OPEC biggest member, told the cartel that, for the first time since the deal was struck, it pumped more than it pledged in June. The kingdom could struggle even more with meeting its promise in July,” write Georgi Kantchev and Nathan Hodge from the meeting in St. Petersburg.
Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, also opened its spigots a bit too much.
“Overall, OPEC output rose above 33 million barrels a day this month, up 145,000 barrels a day from a month ago,” the Journal reports.
Oil prices were mixed Monday morning as investors worried that a planned OPEC meeting in St. Petersburg may fail to alleviate concerns over the global supply glut.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 0.93%, to $48.76 a barrel, in London mid-morning trading. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.07%, at $45.73 a barrel.
SCLUMBERGER CEO BLAMES U.S. INVESTORS FOR STAGNANT OIL PRICES
U.S. investors are responsible for driving down the price of oil, said the chief executive of Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil-field service firm.
Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard blamed the sagging oil price on private-equity investors who “continue to pour cash into U.S. shale basins encouraging new drilling despite the fact that the companies receiving the funds are unprofitable,” writes Christopher M. Matthews.
WHITE HOUSE SIGNALS SUPPORT FOR BILL ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS
President Donald Trump is likely to support legislation that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, though he may make some concessions for oil-and-gas companies, write Michael C. Bender and Natalie Andrews.
After months of questioning whether Moscow was involved in an attempt to influence the outcome of the U.S. election, the White House signaled its willingness to support a Congressional move to further limit the extension of credit to Russian entities and prevent Russian energy and defense firms from partnering with U.S. citizens.
The new sanctions package would require the president to seek Congress’s permission to relax any sanctions against Russia.
It is unclear what allowances the legislation would make for U.S. oil and gas companies seeking to operate in Russia.