OPEC, non-OPEC panel to discuss sharing oil-output boost

A panel called the Joint Technical Committee will on Tuesday consider proposals on distributing the agreed output increase of 1 million barrels per day. (Reuters)
Updated 07 September 2018
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OPEC, non-OPEC panel to discuss sharing oil-output boost

  • OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed in June to return to 100 percent compliance with oil output cuts that began in January 2017

DUBAI/LONDON: An OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee will next week discuss proposals for sharing out an oil-output increase, sources familiar with the matter said, a tense topic for the producer group after it decided in June to ease supply curbs.
A panel called the Joint Technical Committee will on Tuesday consider proposals on distributing the agreed output increase of 1 million barrels per day, the sources said.
“The talks will look at various mechanisms” to reach the required production level, a source said.
If resolved, the talks could lead to an easing of tensions within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Iran had been against the June decision, which came amid pressure from US President Donald Trump to reduce oil prices.
There are four proposals on how to distribute the increase, presented by Iran, Algeria, Russia and Venezuela, one of the sources said, suggesting agreement will not be straightforward.
One idea, to share it pro-rata among participating countries, is unlikely to be approved by Russia and Saudi Arabia since it would give them less than the supply boosts of 300,000 and 400,000 bpd that they respectively want, the source said.
OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed in June to return to 100 percent compliance with oil output cuts that began in January 2017. Months of underproduction in Venezuela and elsewhere had pushed adherence above 160 percent.
The June meeting concluded with a deep disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, longtime rivals in OPEC.
Saudi Arabia said the decision implied a reallocation of extra production from countries unable to produce more to those, such as Riyadh, that can. Iran, facing a forced cut in its oil exports because of US sanctions, disagreed.
The proposals will next be presented to ministers attending a monitoring meeting in Algeria on Sept. 23, sources said.


Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

Updated 31 min 52 sec ago
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Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

  • Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election
  • “The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy," Aoun said

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s currency is not in danger and rumors about the economy are causing harm, President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday, amid concern that a political deadlock has blocked urgent reforms and left the heavily indebted country vulnerable.
Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election. The central bank has issued repeated assurances about the soundness of the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar and the size of its foreign currency reserves, in response to speculation over the currency’s future.
“The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy. The economic situation is difficult but the things being spread as rumors are harming Lebanon,” Aoun said, in comments published by his office.
“We do not deny that there is a crisis,” Aoun said, but added that the country was working to address it.
Lebanon had the world’s third highest debt-to-GDP ratio, at over 150 percent, at the end of 2017. The International Monetary Fund wants to see immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment to improve debt sustainability.
The failure of politicians to form a government needed to undertake the necessary reforms following the parliamentary election in May has added to concern for the economy.
Leaders from across the political spectrum have in recent months said the political stalemate is harming the economy and a government needs to be formed. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri this month said the country was in “intensive care” and the economic situation was “very dangerous.”
While politicians have stopped short of saying the peg is in danger, some economic analysts abroad have been considering the possibility of a devaluation.
“Lebanon’s ongoing political stalemate has renewed market concerns over the country’s frail balance sheets which could propel the government to devalue the Lebanese Pound ... Under this scenario, the authorities would find it increasingly challenging to service their large foreign currency debts,” Japan’s MUFG Bank said in a report on Wednesday.