Price of oil on the rise as OPEC members eye cuts in production

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, right, and his UAE counterpart Suhail Al-Mazrouei both said that oil production changes would likely be necessary. (AFP)
Updated 13 November 2018

Price of oil on the rise as OPEC members eye cuts in production

  • Production cuts of up to 1 million barrels a day may be necessary
  • Suhail Al-Mazrouei, currently the president of OPEC, similarly said ‘changes’ would likely be necessary

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Monday after Saudi Arabia said reduced global demand could lead to a cut in output of a million barrels per day. 

Brent crude oil stood at $71.10 per barrel by 4 p.m. in London on Monday, an increase of 1.4 percent. 

OPEC and its partners saw a need to cut oil supply by as much as 1 million barrels per day compared to October levels to avoid a build-up of unused oil, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Abu Dhabi on Monday. 

The day before, he said Saudi Arabia alone would reduce its oil shipments by half a million barrels a day in December compared to November, because of seasonal lower demand. 

Al-Falih’s made his comments he met fellow OPEC and non-OPEC partners in the UAE capital to discuss the outlook for the market. 

The potential cuts come amid reduced global demand and a consequent fall in the price of oil by about 20 percent over the last month, according to Reuters. The currencies of major buyers such as India and China have weakened against the dollar, which has reduced their purchasing power. 

Crude oil prices hit four-year highs in late September, with production ramped up in anticipation of the impact of renewed US sanctions on Iran. 

Prices then fell again when the US issued sanctions waivers to major importers of Iranian oil. US oil production also started to increase, placing further pressure on prices. 

“Just like positive demand surprises underpinned the oil price rally, intensifying downside risks to global growth are now on the rise, and will weigh on both market fundamentals and sentiment,” said Konstantinos Venetis, senior economist at TS Lombard. 

Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at broker FXTM, said the looming threat of an economic slowdown could destabilize the oil markets. 

“A reduction in supply next year would be appropriate with the risks of lower economic growth,” he said. 

China's aviation regulator raised concerns with Boeing on 737 MAX design changes

Updated 12 December 2019

China's aviation regulator raised concerns with Boeing on 737 MAX design changes

  • China is reviewing the airworthiness of the plane
  • China was first country to ground plane in March

BEIJING: China’s aviation regulator raised “important concerns” with Boeing Co. on the reliability and security of design changes to the grounded 737 MAX, it said on Thursday, but declined to comment on when the plane might fly again in China.
China is reviewing the airworthiness of the plane based on proposed changes to software and flight control systems according to a bilateral agreement with the United States, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) spokesman Liu Luxu told reporters at a monthly briefing.
He reiterated that for the plane to resume flights in China, it needed to be re-certified, pilots needed comprehensive and effective training to restore confidence in the model and the causes of two crashes that killed 346 people needed to be investigated with effective measures put in place to prevent another one.
China was the first country to ground the 737 MAX after the second crash in Ethiopia in March and had set up a task force to review design changes to the aircraft that Boeing had submitted.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not allow the 737 MAX to resume flying before the end of 2019, its chief, Steve Dickson, said on Wednesday.
Once the FAA approves the reintroduction into service, the 737 MAX can operate in the United States, but individual regulators could keep the planes grounded in other countries until they complete their own reviews.
“Due to the trade war, the jury is still out on when China would reintroduce the aircraft,” said Rob Morris, Global Head of Consultancy at Ascend by Cirium.
Chinese airlines had 97 737 MAX jets in operation before the global grounding, the most of any country, according to Cirium Fleets Analyzer.