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Are OPEC+ Members Ignoring 2024 Production Cuts?


Oil prices continued their sideways journey, with some bullishness emerging from weak US retail sales swiftly quashed by new escalation in the Middle East, with Israel attacking Rafah and the Houthis expected to retaliate soon.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Market whispers are starting to emerge that OPEC+’s 2024 production cuts seem to be ignored by the oil group members, however that is yet to make an impact on Brent, still hovering around the $82 per barrel mark. Congress Votes to Overturn Biden’s LNG Pause. The US House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to strip President Joe Biden’s power to freeze approvals of liquefied natural gas exports with votes split along party lines 224-200, however, the legislation is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

EU to Discontinue Russia’s Ukraine Gas Transit. The European Union rejected the possibility of extending Russian pipeline gas supplies via Ukraine beyond 2024, some 11 billion cubic meters last year, as the current 5-year deal runs out on 31 December 2024.

Occidental Flags CrownRock Deal Delays. US oil producer Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) signaled that the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of its $12 billion acquisition of CrownRock might be pushed back into H2 2024, saying the regulators have been asking “for everything”, slowing down the process.

Vitol Eyes Japanese Power Market Entry. Commodity trading major Vitol is considering opening an office in Tokyo to trade Japanese electricity, with Japan’s highly volatile power market attracting an increasing number of Western majors following its 2016 liberalization.

Australia Lists Nickel as Critical Mineral. The Australian government classified nickel as a critical mineral, unlocking access to billions of dollars in subsidized government loans to embattled mining companies as prices dropped 40% in a year amidst continuously rising Indonesian supply. Related: Wind and Solar Growth in China Not Enough to Offset Coal Expansion

Indonesia’s New President Mulls Scrapping Subsidies. Indonesia’s President-elect Prabowo Subianto, a former army general, pledged to cut back on the government’s energy subsidies, amounting to a hefty $22 billion mostly spent on diesel and cooking gas subsidies for all, including higher-income Indonesians.

Climate Action 100+ Starts to Fall Apart. Climate Action 100+, the $68 trillion investor coalition launched in 2017 to pressure the world’s largest emitters to decarbonize, seems to be falling apart as leading US bank JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) officially quit the group, along with State Street.

Exxon and Enbridge Sued in Antitrust Case. US oil major ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Canada’s leading pipeline operator Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) were sued in Illinois federal court by infrastructure developer Ducere for allegedly barring a competitor from building a barge terminal in the Chicago area.

Talos Energy Becomes a Target for Carlos Slim. Once the world’s richest person, the Mexican billionaire is mulling increasing his share in US independent oil producer Talos Energy (NYSE:TALO), having already bought a 49.9% share in its Mexican subsidiary last year for $124 million.


Norway’s Only Refinery Ablaze. Norway’s only refinery, the 230,000 b/d Mongstad plant operated by Equinor (NYSE:EQNR), saw its production shut down after a fire broke out in an electrical kiosk at the refinery, however, emergency services managed to contain the blaze within several hours.

Woodside Slumps on $1.2 Billion Impairment. Australia’s leading oil producer Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) flagged non-cash impairments of around $1.2 billion from its Shenzi gas field in the Gulf of Mexico, bought in 2021 as part of its takeover of BHP oil assets, due to a reduction in reserves.

Fortescue CEO Slams Carbon Capture. Andrew Forrest, the Australian billionaire running Fortescue Metals, said carbon capture is a “complete falsehood” and that governments should provide real commitments to spark renewables investment, not greenwashed untested solutions.  

Iraq Promises Better Compliance with OPEC+. The Iraqi oil ministry confirmed it would compensate over the next four months for its January increase in crude production, with OPEC’s secondary sources putting the Middle Eastern country’s output at 4.19 million b/d, some 190,000 b/d above target.

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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