Publications: Notes at the Margin

Confusion Among Producers: Shifting the Focus to Exports (September 18, 2017)


The global economic recovery continues. As noted here last week, economic activity has picked up. Oil prices have risen along with global GDP. Brent moved closer to $60 per barrel at the end of the week. If left alone, prices could rise to $60 (basis Brent) by the end of the year. It is not clear, though, that the countries making the largest sacrifices, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will see significant benefits from the price increase.


Nigeria’s unwillingness to cut production characterizes the problem confronting the nations attempting to raise oil prices. This group, described here as the Vienna Group, comprises eleven OPEC members and eleven other nations. As noted in past issues, the organization’s efforts to raise prices by cutting output have not succeeded as well as earlier efforts in 1999 and 2009. Is it any surprise the Saudi oil minister told his colleagues he was losing credibility?


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