OPEC delegates talked of cohesion and unity as they left their latest ministerial meeting in Vienna. But the 27 November gathering, which resulted in a rollover of the current 30mn b/d ceiling and sent oil prices into a dive, went far less smoothly than public comments by ministers and the final communique suggest.

The relationships among OPEC’s 12 members are complicated. Behind closed doors, the arguments for and against a cut were somewhat heated at times, which is understandable given that some of the smaller producers have far more to lose than Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE have built a war chest of some $2.5 trillion that will help them ride out lower prices for a while longer. (CONTINUED - 2700 WORDS)