A great deal of nonsense is being talked about conspiracies behind the Saudi decision NOT to cut output - to dish the Russians, to dish the American frackers, to regain OPEC control etc, etc. In plain fact it is all quite straightforward. There is now a huge world surplus of oil (with masses more coming on stream in the next few years), a growing surplus of gas (both piped and LNG-traded), a flattening of energy demand growth everywhere - including in Asia - and not just because of recession, but because there has been a step change in energy-use efficiency (and there will be a lot more, just as much in China as elsewhere). And as Japan gets back to nuclear, under re-elected and strengthened PM Shinzo Abe, expect a further big easing in global oil and gas demand there as well. In these conditions the Saudis (and Kuwaitis, and Emirates) are not going to cut production. Why should they? They know it will make no difference. All that will happen is that they lose market share. Even if OPEC was a disciplined group, which no longer is, non-OPEC producers would simply fill the gap. All this is occurring even while several oil producing regions are being held back -e.g Iran under sanctions, Iraq because of the ISIS threat, Libya because of political and tribal chaos, Syria submerged in war, Nigeria because of northern problems and so on. Think what happens to world oil supply if any of these areas begin to pick up and add a few more million b/ds, for which they have ample capacity. [Tweet "'no-one [...]
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