As global oil markets hit their seventh straight week of price drops, OPEC members scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 6 will gather earlier on the sidelines of next week’s G20 in Buenos Aires, speeding up the process of attempting to control the worst price slide since January 2106.
Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices have dropped significantly over the US Thanksgiving holiday week — some 12 and 11 percent, respectively — as worldwide oversupply and slow-growth forecasts make their mark, according to reports.
In meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires one week ahead of schedule, key decision makers for the OPEC cartel are anticipated to make moves toward mitigating some of the damage, even as they attempt to shepard oil prices for the upcoming year, according to Bloomberg.
Leaders of the world’s two largest oil exporters, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are expected to continue their global collaboration at the economic summit in the capital of Argentina on November 30 — December 1.
Also expected to attend the G20 economic summit is US President Donald Trump, who has made no secret of his opposition to OPEC.
“I expect President Trump will be discussing the optimal price range with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Putin at the G20,” noted former White House energy official Bob McNally, cited by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Analysts and experts note that oil markets are particularly volatile alongside talk that Riyadh’s Prince Mohammed will not be able to stand up to Trump’s demand for even lower oil prices, following White House support for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The market is assuming the Saudis won’t be able to cut [output],” pointed out London’s Energy Aspects Ltd chief oil analyst Amrita Sen, cited by Bloomberg.
The planned presence of Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih in Buenos Aires has lent credence to the idea that an OPEC global strategy for 2019 will be delineated ahead of the Vienna December 6 meeting.
Few will be surprised, however, if the 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince refuses to bow to the demands of Trump.
“It remains our view that the kingdom will adopt a ‘Saudi First’ policy and prioritize its own economic and social welfare above pleasing the American president,” observed former CIA analyst Helima Croft, cited by Gulfnews.com.