NOMURA: 70% chance of a big OPEC oil production cut

There is a 70% chance that OPEC will agree a production cut of 1 million barrels per day at a November 30 meeting, according to analysts at Nomura.

A cut that size would send oil prices up more than $2 a barrel, the Nomura analysts said in a note to clients on Wednesday.

The 14 countries of oil producing cartel OPEC are preparing to meet on November 30.

Nomura argues the costs of low oil prices no longer outweigh the benefits of forcing competitors, particularly those based in the US, out of business.

“The success of Saudi Aramco’s strategic IPO and the long term restructuring of the Saudi Arabia economy also hinges on higher oil prices ahead. Trump’s surprise election win could also shift Iran’s focus on market share to maximising short-term revenue,” Nomura said.

“OPEC has a good track record of taking urgent decisive actions to cut output to boost prices. For example, back in December 2009 following the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the cartel succeeded in boosting oil prices from below USD40/bbl to over USD80/bbl within 12 months by cutting 2.5mn bopd from global oil markets,” the analysts said.

Here is a chart showing oil production so far:

Oil prices surged to near-$50 a barrel at the start of the week on hope that a cut would be agreed, only to fall back on rumours the curbs won’t materialise. It is currently trading around $48 a barrel.

If the cut is announced, prices will surge, Nomura said (emphasis ours):

“By cutting the cartel’s output by 1mn bopd, or less than 3%, global oil prices need only to increase by USD2/bbl from current levels to offset any potential revenue declines. In fact, judging by the high volume of speculative short positions in the oil futures market, we believe oil prices will almost certainly rise more than USD2/bbl in the weeks following this potential OPEC production cut.

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