Opec’s efforts to balance the market and boost oil prices towards $60/B are as far away from succeeding as ever. Crude prices are at their lowest level since Opec opted to cut output in November (MEES, 2 December 2016), but the group’s production is some 1.2mn b/d lower. Revenues are being squeezed.

The IEA released its first estimations on 2018 supply and demand projections this week and it makes galling reading for Opec. The figures indicate that global stocks will remain high into 2018, with oil prices staying low as a result. Opec’s annual revenues are therefore on track to remain just shy of 2015’s low level this year, less than half the sum it was taking in before prices fell in mid-2014. And major gains look unlikely in 2018. (CONTINUED - 1048 WORDS)