June 18, 2024
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Oil Prices Plunge as OPEC+ Postpones Meeting

Oil prices plunged by 4% early Wednesday after OPEC officially confirmed that the OPEC+ meeting scheduled for this weekend would be postponed to November 30.

The U.S. benchmark, WTI Crude, crumbled by 4.37% to below $75 a barrel, to $74.55, while Brent Crude, the international benchmark, dived below the $80 a barrel threshold, at $79.12, down by 4.26% on the day.

OilPrice.com reports that the postponement has been linked to Saudi Arabia’s dissatisfaction over the production levels of other members.

The plunge in the prices followed a brief statement from OPEC, which said today that the OPEC+ meetings, originally planned for November 25 and 26, 2023, have been rescheduled to Thursday, 30 November 2023.

Earlier today, prices started dropping after a Bloomberg report said that this weekend’s meeting of the OPEC+ group could be delayed.

The November 26 meeting of the ministers of the OPEC+ alliance could be postponed due to Saudi Arabia expressing dissatisfaction over the production levels of the other members, delegates have told Bloomberg.

The meeting may be delayed, according to the anonymous delegates who said that the Saudis have been in talks with the other oil producers about their output.

After OPEC confirmed the report, the market turned very anxious about a potential new disagreement among the OPEC+ members about the production cuts and who would be willing or unwilling to reduce production alongside the Saudis.

Before the announcement of the delay, most analysts had expected that OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, would extend its voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) into 2024, considering the latest slide in oil prices to $80 and the typically weak period for oil demand in the first quarter of every year. The market talk was also intensifying that OPEC+ could announce a deeper cut at the group’s meeting over the weekend November 25-26.

The market is now questioning whether other OPEC+ producers would be willing to share some of the burden of the Saudi efforts to lift oil prices.

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