© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The OPEC logo pictured ahead of an informal meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Algeria, September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina//
LONDON (Reuters) – Mixed signals by major OPEC producers and their main allies have sparked volatility in oil prices ahead of an OPEC+ oil policy meeting set to take place this weekend.
and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures ended last week over 1.5% higher, but fell by over 1% at 1047 GMT on Tuesday.
OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other allies, surprised the market on April 2 with further output cuts that pushed up the price of oil.
The group meets on June 4 in Vienna to discuss whether or not to further curtail production.
Here is what OPEC+ producers have said so far:
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), gave another warning last week to speculators.
“Speculators, like in any market they are there to stay, I keep advising them that they will be ouching, they did ouch in April, I don’t have to show my cards I’m not a poker player … but I would just tell them watch out,” he told the Qatar Economic Forum organised by Bloomberg.
Tuesday’s comments by the prince were interpreted by someinvestors as a signal that OPEC+ could consider further output cuts.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said oil prices were approaching “economically justified” levels, indicating there could be no immediate change to the group’s production policy.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday he expected no new steps from OPEC+ in Vienna, Russian media reported.
“I don’t think that there will be any new steps, because just a month ago certain decisions were made regarding the voluntary reduction of oil production by some countries due to the fact that we saw the slow pace of global economic recovery,” Novak was quoted as saying by Izvestia newspaper.
Novak later added in a statement that OPEC+ would make a decision on what is best for the oil market.
Three sources with knowledge of current Russian thinking told Reuters last week Russia is leaning towards leaving oil production volumes unchanged.
Speaking to Reuters on May 12, Iraqi Oil Minister HayanAbdel-Ghani said there would be no further reduction in outputagreed by OPEC+ when it meets, saying that Iraq had not beenasked to make any additional cuts.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told the secretary general of OPEC on Saturday that he hopes oil producers can calm the market, calling for the unity of OPEC members, Iranian media reported.