OPEC Policy in the Age of Trump

President Trump’s tweet on February 25 urging OPEC to ‘relax’ and to take it ‘easy’ with their cuts, and that a ‘fragile’ global economy can’t tolerate a higher oil price, did have an immediate price impact, with the Brent price declining by 4 per cent on the day, from nearly $67/b down to $64/b. But the ‘Trump tweet’ impact faded fairly quickly with oil prices gaining again towards the end of the same week. A clear signal from the Saudi energy minister Mr. Khalid Al-Falih in which he confirmed that OPEC and its partners would continue with their output cuts with the objective of achieving a more balanced market was a key factor behind the fast recovery. Extrapolating Saudi Arabia’s behavior in 2018 into 2019 is risky and the assumption that Saudi policy will reverse its current strategy under Trump’s pressure does not reflect the shift in Saudi thinking and the current uncertainties and weaknesses engulfing the oil market. This Energy Comment sheds some light on the current market uncertainties pertaining to the drivers and prospects of global demand growth in 2019, the clearing of the stocks overhang and the dilemma that OPEC and its partners currently face.

By: Bassam Fattouh , Andreas Economou

Latest Tweets from @OxfordEnergy

  • Changes to the ‘Dated Brent’ benchmark: more to come https://t.co/gW10n8rPMi

    March 21st

  • New OIES paper looks at LNG projects vying for FID in 2019-20, reviews 5 areas, costs and competitiveness, and the… https://t.co/pz3UDcUcQU

    March 20th

  • Outlook for Competitive LNG Supply https://t.co/qmG43CklMw

    March 20th

Sign up for our Newsletter

Register your email address here and we will send you notification of new publications, comment, articles etc. automatically.