The timing that hurts oil

The timing that hurts oil

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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The news regarding oil production cuts that arrived before the OPEC summit in Vienna nullified the element of surprise and hampered an oil prices rebound. In the meanwhile, US shale is seeing new opportunities on international markets

Timing is ever important, and at the last summit on the extension of the cuts, the lack of timing turned out to be crucial. Saudi Arabia and Russia did not wait for the summit, declaring their position almost ten days prior, with negative consequences on the price of oil. As Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects explained, "the nine-month extension of production cuts was a positive surprise but it was sold too early to the market." The original agreement in fact proposed the option of a renewal of only six months, causing an optimistic reaction: in just a few sessions, oil prices rose by almost 10%; but investors began to expect even more, and once disappointed, they liquidated some of the bullish positions. The price is still under pressure due the US decision to sell millions of barrels of oil starting from next October. In this way, the supply of oil would continue to rise, wiping out the efforts of the Saudis and Russians, guiding the strategy behind a reduction in output, effort to try to balance the world market. According to the analysis of the Economist: "In two and a half years of their see-sawing contrast to the crude oil price crunch, Opec has been consistent on one aspect: It has underestimated the ability of US producers of shale hydrocarbons to use more efficient financial techniques to cope with the storm of low price quotations."
Meanwhile shale prices have hit the roof and new opportunities beckon on the international markets The Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said his country is ready to consider alternative supplies to those of Opec "including the United States and Canada, that are becoming very competitive."