OPEC: without Qatar, but with Russia?

The next OPEC meeting open for other oil producing countries is the organization of oil exporting countries scheduled in Vienna on Thursday (December 6). The almost traditional agenda of the day is an attempt to stop the fall in oil prices, this time unexpectedly supplemented by the question of leaving the organization one of its founders, Qatar. But after OPEC not only achieved a long-term decline in production levels from its members, but also agreed this decision with the largest oil producers, primarily with Russia, it seemed that the fragile positions of the organization became strong again!


Today, experts are talking not only about the new crisis of the organization, but also about the possible domino effect, when others may leave OPEC after Qatar. First of all, from among those who are tired of coordinating every extra barrel produced with club partners. And besides, more and adjust production levels in accordance with dubious political conditions. At present, in this context, as you understand, we are talking about sanctions against Iran, restored at the request of the United States.

OPEC: without Qatar, but with Russia?


In Qatar, they have never concealed loyalty to Iran, for which they nearly paid for the last 2017 of the year last summer. It was with pressure on Iran that the crisis that occurred then was directly related, one of the main events of which was the rupture of diplomatic relations with Doha (the capital of Qatar), which, besides Saudi Arabia, went to five more countries - Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Libya. To begin with, Qatar was accused of collaborating with Shiite Iran, who teetered on the verge of a direct clash with the Saudi monarchy and its allies.

In addition, Doha was blamed for the financial support of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organizations, ISIS and al-Qaida. Doha’s readiness to buy C-400 anti-aircraft complex from Russia also irritated. Buy earlier Saudi sheikhs. Qatar tried to block the oxygen, more precisely - the supply of all types of goods, including food, but Iran immediately helped him. Qatar has managed to withstand only through the use of reserve funds, the issuance of bonds with record high for the region, as well as the sale of liquefied natural gas - LNG.

The fact is that oil is by no means the main export commodity of Qatar, its share of production in OPEC does not exceed two percent. And now, in Doha’s plans, there is a serious decline in the levels of oil production, which would have been difficult to coordinate with OPEC. The conflict was not succeeded in slowing down the brakes, and after more than a year, after an almost complete blockade, they themselves decided to leave Doha. For starters from OPEC.

Against this background, the salvation for the organization may well be closer cooperation with Russia. And although, according to Western analysts, “Russians and Saudis are still very far from being at the same time in matters of impending restrictions on oil production,” the experience of the OPEC + agreement showed that they had already learned how to adjust production levels together.

It seems that the G-20 Summit that ended by chance, among other things, has become, among other things, a stage for the demonstration of new relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia. When President Putin, as if on display, was talking long and enthusiastically with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



Recently, this little-known crown prince, whom journalists have already dubbed MBS for short, came out on top roles right after the first Qatari crisis. And it came out precisely on oil, fully having a hand in the OPEC + agreement. A year ago, it was believed that the unwinding of the conflict with Qatar could cost the MBS position of the successor to the throne. Now it is equally believed that the throne could cost him the murder of an opposition journalist Jamal Khashadzhi (Khashoggi).

But at the same time, it is Ben Salman who is called the main opponent of the very same dumping policy, which did not give Saudi Arabia anything but a multibillion-dollar loss and a loss of a very significant share of moral authority accumulated over decades. If everything is really the case, we can expect that the “Qatari” issue will be resolved relatively painlessly. Otherwise, Riyadh will face a confrontation not only with Iran, but also with a number of defectors from the same OPEC

President Donald Trump, traditionally advocating for low fuel prices, immediately, as if in defiance of Moscow and Riyadh, decided once again to urge OPEC not to reduce oil production next month. One might think that in January 2019, such a Washington administration would simply be welcomed. At the same time, Saudi Arabia continues to regularly call on partners in the oil cartel to reduce oil production levels, thereby trying to mitigate the negative effects of oversupply in the market. In Riyadh, they do not get tired of repeating that they are not ready to cut production alone, without support, but they will make every effort to reduce the total supply. Saudi sheikhs rationally do not pretend to regulate demand, shifting this actually onto the shoulders of the United States.

But the United States, without making any movement about the rather unexpected rapprochement of Riyadh with Moscow, actually ignored all calls from Riyadh. They continue to increase production levels, and not only shale oil, which, it seems, has long been outdated by any agreements. In an authoritative British The Economist on Friday 30 November noted that “Saudi Arabia understands the need to cut production, but wants to do so in cooperation with other OPEC members and Russia. At the same time, Riyadh would like to avoid conflicts with the Trump administration over long-term trends in oil prices. ”

For a long time, it was Saudi Arabia, in an effort to press such intractable competitors like Russia and especially Iran into the oil market, in fact, not only dumping, but also pushing many of its allies to this. And in this list of "allies" the Saudis managed to record (if not for all 100 percent) not only the Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, but also Iraq, and even Nigeria with Mexico. But they didn’t dare to repeat the global oil crises in Riyadh by proposing to everyone else the OPEC + agreement. Strangely enough, only one major oil-producing country really did not join him - and that was the United States.



But the anti-Russian and anti-Iran sanctions of the United States, which are used in the context of aggravated global trade tensions, actually worked with the exact opposite. For example, in the past few months they have only helped Russia strengthen its leading position in the energy market of China.

However, Russia, in the opinion of foreign, as, indeed, many Russian experts, is hardly ready for new cuts in production levels. This is largely due to objective reasons - purely technologically in most wells in Russia it is impossible to increase or reduce production levels by simply turning the valve. And it is not by chance that our country has never been torn to OPEC, where, according to one of the old oil industry workers, “we will have to reconfigure production facilities for each of our partners.” The prospect of Russia's joining the club in the near future is hardly real, and immediately after the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, they hurried to write some media in Saudi Arabia.

The hydrocarbon market continues to be influenced by global factors, among which, oddly enough, the conflict around Qatar and OPEC + agreements are not the most important ones. The experience of recent months shows that when the regulatory role of the oil club itself has declined simply to impropriety, the factor of production restrictions on the scale of the world is coming to the fore. Some of the observers have already made an ironic remark: “the Saudi prince almost hitched Russia to OPEC, but Qatar immediately missed it.”

In addition, very few countries are able to significantly increase production when needed, even in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia in this sense is a truly enviable exception, and that is why it seems that in Riyadh they can afford such a “luxury” as a large-scale confrontation with Iran. And as far as Russia is able to prove to be an effective mediator in improving Riyadh’s relations with Tehran, only time will tell.

At the same time, both in Saudi Arabia itself and in the countries that joined it, it is quite obvious that their own capabilities of real, rather than hypothetical, increase in oil production levels were overestimated. The loss of Qatar does not play here, absolutely, no role. Moreover, the members of OPEC have even overestimated the prospects for real growth in shale oil production in the United States. But the shale factor was very convenient for the Saudis, when there was a need to play short. But having completely forgotten about shale, the Americans are now rapidly increasing production of any kind of oil, including offshore, and at a price much lower than expected by OPEC and Russia.
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  1. Conductor 4 December 2018 06: 12 New
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    It is highly doubtful that these Arab monarchies would be our allies.
    1. Nyrobsky 4 December 2018 12: 16 New
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      Quote: Conductor
      It is highly doubtful that these Arab monarchies would be our allies.

      No one talks about alliance in the long run. It’s just a situational union of coincidence of interests. Also today we are "friends" with Turkey, since our interests coincided in Syria and in gas.
      1. Machito 4 December 2018 14: 14 New
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        The entire twentieth century was essentially one big battle for oil. In the twenty-first century, this struggle is only intensifying. It is no coincidence that it was NATO that coined the term Energy (gas and oil) weapons.
  2. parusnik 4 December 2018 06: 17 New
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    Yeah ... oil wars ... and for its extraction and its sale ...
  3. rocket757 4 December 2018 07: 03 New
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    The next stage of endless butting.
    Just look, of course, there is a relation to the military topic, politically .....
  4. samarin1969 4 December 2018 07: 08 New
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    What they just won’t come up with is to alienate Iran and Russia.
    The contingents of these countries have common enemies in Syria, which are supported by the KSA and the United States. For the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the rapprochement of Iran and the Russian Federation would be extremely undesirable. Their opinion is shared by liberals of the Russian Federation and some authors of VO.
    1. Ross xnumx 4 December 2018 08: 51 New
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      Quote: samarin1969
      The contingents of these countries have common enemies in Syria

      It is very bad when the contingents of countries unite not according to geopolitical interests, but according to the presence of somewhere common enemies. Conductor right, in the Middle East all our interests are based only on the purchase of Russian weapons and the establishment of quotas for oil production in order to maintain high prices for it. It is not practical to consider some countries that do not have access to the Mediterranean Sea as some kind of underbelly.
      The territorial dimensions of Russia and its geographical location require a completely different strategy and attitude to the Middle East problems. We simply cannot and do not have the right to get involved in timeless wars and conflicts. Russia has no right to relax, believing that Eastern buyers can become reliable partners in anything. About friendship, as well as about RUDN University - this is to Maslyakov, he has fun doing it.
    2. Semen1972 4 December 2018 11: 43 New
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      Quote: samarin1969
      Their opinion is shared by liberals of the Russian Federation and some authors of VO.

      So where does the FSB look, why liberalism in Russia will not be banned !!!! Putin is struggling to destroy liberalism, but it doesn’t work out early (((((What kind of misfortune is this .... It’s better to be commies than liberals !!! Give a scoop No. 2 !!!
    3. WarriorWolf 4 December 2018 12: 18 New
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      Russia + Syria + Iran + Libya = calm in the BV, and besides this, the FSA has a headache, and charred KSA and Israel portions ... But this will not happen until the Kremlin has grown its teeth and removed from all structures and the media persons of foreign alternative ...
      1. Semen1972 4 December 2018 17: 05 New
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        Quote: Warrior Wolf
        But this will not happen until the Kremlin regrowth its teeth and removes foreign alternative persons from all the structures and mass media ...

        So how long does a citizen wait for these bright days ?? What is it, and they taxed it and raised the retirement age and the ruble costs nothing .. but it won’t grow all its teeth .. Well, it’s clear that this is all the State Department shitting .. well, we’ll sit and get a beggarly pension and salary .. for now Obama mocking us ???? Until I, the simple peasant, endure this? Tell me please!!!!!
        1. WarriorWolf 4 December 2018 17: 21 New
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          Well, it’s clear that this is all the State Department crap.

          Well, I don’t even know who understands this, but rather the managers in the Kremlin are muddied by business and have their own gesheft ...
  5. Professor 4 December 2018 07: 30 New
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    However, Russia, in the opinion of foreign, as well as many Russian experts, is hardly ready for new cuts in production levels.

    To new cuts? The author is joking. Russia is now at a historic peak in oil production. Shakes like never before.
    1. Ross xnumx 4 December 2018 09: 05 New
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      However Russia, in the opinion of foreign, as, indeed, many Russian experts, hardly ready for new cuts in production levels.

      Quote: Professor
      To new abbreviations? The author is joking.

      Do not confuse the interests of Russia and the interests of the oligarchs. If in Russia they sell oil for pennies, leaving the future generation without reserves, then this is seen only in the greed of those who receive income from its sale. The Russian economy was aimed at the raw materials appendage of the world even by the fact that the ruble against the dollar was set so that the ruble "for some reason is below the dollar." Why not hold a denomination? Why for dozens of rubles secured by gold, precious metals and minerals do we get a unit of incomprehensible currency, the provision of which is dictated by force and suggestion?
      1. KTM
        KTM 4 December 2018 09: 51 New
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        Strange as it may seem, the value of a currency is determined not at all by the availability of resources. Let us say why the currencies of the Arab oil and gas monarchies, Iran, Venezuela or Nigeria do not need anyone but themselves?
        1. Snail N9 4 December 2018 10: 49 New
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          Another thing is curious. In fact, no one knows exactly how much oil, gas, and other natural resources are sold by Russian oligarchs abroad. Somewhere, back in 2016, there was information that foreign "partners" calculated how many Russian companies sold abroad according to the data of their monitoring bodies and compared with those published by Rosstat, it turned out that their data exceed the Russian average by 30- 50%, and for certain positions - 2 times. Perhaps this explains the rapid accumulation of capital by Russian oligarchs. If Russia enters OPEC, then it will be necessary to publish accurate data on the amount of oil produced and sold, which the Russian oligarchs sitting on the oil business do not like at all.
        2. Ross xnumx 4 December 2018 12: 20 New
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          Quote: KTM
          Let's say why the currencies of the Arab oil and gas monarchies, Iran, Venezuela or Nigeria do not need anyone except themselves?

          You know, I never actually bought dollars for any purpose. Managed in rubles ... This is by comparison. Let's not talk about currencies and how much it costs ...
          1. KTM
            KTM 4 December 2018 13: 01 New
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            Yes, in general, I also mostly managed with rubles (and then with hryvnias), only it’s about why the number one international trade is precisely the dollar and it is the reserve currency, not the rial or bolivar,
      2. Semen1972 4 December 2018 11: 40 New
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        Quote: ROSS 42
        . The Russian economy was aimed at the raw materials appendage of the world even by the fact that the ruble against the dollar was set so that the ruble "for some reason is below the dollar."

        Who???? How did they get to the Kremlin ??? Where does the FSB, FSO, MVD, TFR and GRU look ???? Really missed the agents of the State Department at hand ??? But how is it ... they betrayed us again ... but what is it ... only the knees got up and again the traitors (((
  6. Vladimirets 4 December 2018 08: 48 New
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    our country has never rushed to OPEC, where, according to one of the old oil workers, "we will have to reconfigure production facilities for each of our partners."

    I can hardly remember at all any international organizations from participation in which Russia acquired something significant. request All our participation ends with attempts to put pressure on the country within the framework of the obligations of these very unions, associations, associations, etc. They were eager to get into the WTO amid a reduction in duties, but it turned out that simple sanctions for something, somewhere there, level the buns received and all that remains are duties. recourse
  7. Corsair0304 4 December 2018 08: 56 New
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    Butting, unions and the breakup of unions - all this has been going on since the beginning of the 20th century, when the role of oil became decisive. And even if Qatar separates from OPEC with its two percent of the entire production level - how much will this shake the world? Let's see what will happen next.
    1. Ross xnumx 4 December 2018 09: 09 New
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      Quote: Corsair0304
      And even if Qatar separates from OPEC with your two percent from the entire production level - how much it shakes the world?

      I remembered:
      - What is it, you, Rodion Romanovich, killed an old woman for a dime?
      - Uh ... do not tell me, Porfiry Petrovich! Here there is a calculation: one old woman is a dime, and ten are already virgin!
  8. Severski 4 December 2018 12: 50 New
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    Only here with the prince, there was no need to take a picture. They consider him a killer.
    Shamefully
  9. Hypatius 4 December 2018 19: 44 New
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    The topic is complicated, or it’s all inappropriate. 1. I think London could not have done without it. After all, Qatar has been in the wake of English influence for over a century. 2. Qatar may have 2% in OPEC, but 5% for gas, and it can be dumped in alliance with the United States, or under sanctions against Iran. 3. Qatar has a blocking stake (~ 19%) in Rosneft. At the same time, as I understand it, we have not 50% + 1, but 38% of the vote. 4. In 2017, Qatar paid off the United States, but the reasons remained. I find it difficult to draw conclusions, but the reasons are long-standing and quite global. Video 5 years ago:
    1. Hypatius 4 December 2018 19: 55 New
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      The video stuck to what the British sold, but the Qatari people got the result from the sale.