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E & P News


May 2017: OPEC has approved Equatorial Guinea’s request to join the Organization with immediate effect and become Sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth OPEC member. Equatorial Guinea applied for OPEC membership in January. Its share of production cuts over the last 6 months is 12,000 bbls per day.

May 2017: OPEC will extend cuts in oil output by 9 months to March 2018 shared with a dozen non-members led by Russia. The price rise has spurred growth in the US shale industry, slowing the market’s re-balancing. Global crude stocks are still at near record highs. Prices declined as the cuts were shorter and less deep than hoped for. Nigeria and Libya will be excluded.

May 2017: Saudi Arabia and Russia said they may extend production cuts into 2018 to eliminate a supply surplus. They would consider prolonging their output reductions for longer than the six-month extension expected to be agreed at the OPEC meeting on May 25. Surging US production has raised concerns that OPEC and  partners are failing to reduce an oversupply. (Globalshift notes: the “announcement” of an extension agreement is inevitable to raise prices in the short term).

Jan 2017: Russia and Kazakhstan said they have met goals for reducing oil output. Russian production reduced by 130,000 bbls per day and Kazakhstan’s by 20,000 bbls per day (after start-up of Kashagan). Eleven non-OPEC nations have agreed a reduction of 558,000 bbls per day from January.


Dec 2016:

Nov 2016: OPEC has reached an agreement on an oil production cut, and will implement the cuts they agreed on in September (when members in principle accepted a new target of 32.5 mm bbls per day) which should speed up the draw-down of the stock overhang. Current production levels reportedly stand at 33.6 mm bbls per day. A cut would be the first agreement since 2008.


Apr 2015: OPEC production climbed by the most in almost 4 years as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya boosted output amid a stronger outlook for global oil demand. Rising by 890,000 bbls per day in March, the jump in output leaves OPECs production at about 2.5 mm bbls per day higher.

Mar 2015: OPEC has no choice but to shun oil output cuts to avoid losing market share, Kuwait's oil minister said. Since the oil price collapse OPEC officials have said they wanted non-OPEC producers to cooperate with the group but those attempts have made little progress.

Jan 2015: OPEC defended its decision not to intervene to halt the oil price collapse. If OPEC had cut in November it would have to cut again and again as non-OPEC increased its own output. OPEC believe that its own lower cost oil should be produced first.

Jan 2015: Iran sees no sign of a shift within OPEC towards action to support oil prices and maintains that its oil industry could ride out a price slump to $25 a barrel. There is little chance of collective action to prop up prices. OPEC’s Gulf members decided against a cut despite Iran and Venezuela (both of which who are struggling to maintain output) arguing for action to defend market share.


Oct 2014: Economists assert that OPEC, as a swing producer, holds spare production capacity with which it controls price. But OPEC was unable (and unwilling) to fill the supply gap that led to high prices. These have encouraged growth in shale oil supplies and there is now a glut of oil on the market. OPEC is currently cutting price rather than production. If OPEC cut output now it would end up with a lower market share AND lower prices.

Oct 2014: Crude prices have dropped 20% in 3 months, reaching US$90. The decline has led to reaction within OPEC. Typically, OPEC collectively reduces production to prop up prices when they fall. However, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have instead unilaterally cut prices to maintain market share. Iran and Iraq have followed suit (Globalshift notes: prices look set to fall significantly further).


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Review files

Political Group


Iran (1960)

Iraq (1960)

Kuwait (1960)

Saudi Arabia (1960)

Venezuela (1960)

Qatar (1961)

Libya (1962)

Indonesia (1962-2008, 2015*, 2016**)

United Arab Emirates (1967)

Algeria (1969)

Nigeria (1971)

Ecuador (1973-1992, 2007*)

Gabon (1975-1994, 2016*)

Angola (2007)

Equatorial Guinea (2017)

* rejoined

** suspended after failing to agree on production cuts