Daily Management Review

Russia's oil production rise amps up OPEC woes


OPEC continues to be in chaos with Russia increasing its oil production to record Post-Soviet level.

Russia has increased its oil production to around 10.71 million barrels a day for the month of August in a bid to oust OPEC and its decision to not cut oil production in the Middle East.
The Energy ministry data from Russia pointed out that the new estimates for the month of August is an increase of 1.6 per cent from a year earlier.  The country had been increasing its output to force the OPEC to cut down its own production.
Saudi Arabia-backed OPEC had been maintaining the same output despite plunging oil prices to fight the increase in domestic production of oil in the US. But Russia has clearly emerged as the third player in the power struggle based in the axis of oil and energy. OPEC is still maintaining that the decision to keep oil production at a constant was productive.  Saudi oil minister said that the OPEC is “moving in the right direction." At the same time, Russia is stubborn that it would not cut down its production even when it is trying to attain closer ties with the OPEC, according to statements from Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The recent high output is in fact the closes post-Soviet rise for oil production by Russia. With the status-quo, the planned meeting between the Russian Energy minister, OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem el-Badri, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi and Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh on Wednesday has a crucial part.
OPEC meanwhile considers the meeting as just a platform to exchange information than to discuss or persuade either parties to cut down production. According to energy analysts, OPEC, which includes the powerful Middle East trio of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is now looking at maintaining its market share than negotiating on oil price stabilization.
Even as the power struggle between Russia and OPEC continue, oil prices have fallen more than 40% to $65 a barrel from $115 last July. This lull has destabilized the existing norms in Russia as well as in OPEC, weakening the demand for oil. Iran is another crucial powerbroker in this scenario. Iran has increased its production and is trying to attract more of the Asian market within OPEC. This could mean a combined loss for OPEC’s current 40 per cent rally in oil share. Besides Iran, Iraq also has produced around 3.87 million barrels a day in May. US and Iran are participating in a round of talks to come to a nuclear agreement and already the country has seen lifting of old economic sanctions. A favorable economic climate within the country can also trigger a spur in production within Iraq, making deep cuts in the profit margin for other OPEC countries.

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