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Opec Secretary-General ‘Abd Allah al-Badri said after talks in Moscow on 31 July that the Arab-dominated producers’ club did not plan to cut production and would maintain its long-standing leaky ceiling of 30mn b/d, despite falling oil prices and the potential of additional Iranian oil coming to market. A joint statement following the fourth meeting of the Opec Russia Energy Dialogue, put a positive spin on what appeared to be yet another failed effort by Opec to convince the oil producing giant to join in an output cut to balance markets.
Oil prices, which have been on a downward spiral since June last year, when benchmark Brent futures traded at $115/B, fell further this week, hitting a six month low. The latest drop, which saw front month Brent trade at $52.28/B as MEES went to press, the lowest level since February, was largely on the back of the comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, and more recently in response to a Chinese stock market sell-off, which raised concern over demand in the world’s largest energy consuming nation. China accounts for 23% of global energy consumption and 61% of net energy demand growth, according to data supplied by BP.
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