Opec production edged up for the second consecutive month in May, averaging 30.39mn b/d. With decision time approaching on whether Opec and its allies will extend production restrictions beyond their current end-June expiry, Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo says Opec is “closely monitoring oil market developments, which have seen a high level of volatility in recent weeks.”

Downwards pressure on prices over the past five years has typically been driven by supply-side dynamics rather than demand. The surge in volumes from the US shale patch in particular created a supply glut that eventually forced Opec, Russia and their allies to implement supply cuts from January 2017 that have broadly been in force ever since (MEES, 16 December 2016). (CONTINUED - 1607 WORDS)