January’s collective output was 560,000 b/d above the grouping’s nominal 31.92mn b/d production target – based on the agreed upon 32.5mn b/d plus Equatorial Guinea which joined in 2017, less Indonesia, which suspended membership in November 2016. Opec has never hit the target: the closest it got was 170,000 b/d above in April 2017 (see chart).

With growing debate about whether global oil inventories are now too threadbare, a sizeable Opec cut from current levels would unlikely have been welcomed by markets. Prices have weakened from their two-year highs this week, with Brent falling below $65/B (MEES, 9 February) but market fundamentals continue to point towards rebalancing. (CONTINUED - 792 WORDS)