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Opec has shown it is serious about cutting output in a bid to balance markets with lynchpin Saudi Arabia reporting 23-month low output of 9.75mn b/d in January. But, with US stocks at record levels, there is much work to do.
An extension of last November’s output cut deal beyond its initial mid-2017 expiry will be needed to bring markets into balance.
Oil prices have remained steady so far this year, with Brent in the mid-$50s/B as markets wait to see whether Opec and non-Opec countries can deliver on output cuts pledged late last year. But, though compliance so far has been strong, soaring supplies in countries not party to the deal, in particular the US and Brazil, have left Opec with an uphill task.
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