Rumors abound in the last days before the 30 November OPEC meeting, when parties will have to agree on a global oil production cut. Among the international press as well as insiders, there is a constant stream of news about the holdouts, especially Iraq and Iran. The former’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, told the press that his government is willing to lower Iraq’s oil output. Russia made the same announcement, although there are still no details on what percentage individual energy companies will have to cut. In the meantime, Rosneft has recently stated that it has no intention of limiting its own output.
Low oil prices continue to affect the budgets of countries and companies. Norway, for example, one of Europe’s largest energy producers and exporters, plans to invest a total of $17.2 billion to develop the oil & gas sector during the next year, 3.6% lower than had been forecasted. Oil prices thus continue to pose a crucial challenge, one that has the potential to compromise the revenues of large companies as well as national budgets, with predictable repercussions for employment, new projects and growth prospects.