OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)

  • COVID-19
    The Elements Unfold: A Possible Bottom to Oil Prices
    The process of going into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has been revealing, especially in regards to oil. There are many elements to the smooth operation of global oil logistics that are now facing potential problems due to the unprecedented lockdowns. Here are a few of these elements and the complications the lockdown process is exposing.
  • Iraq
    Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Iraq’s Pledge to Cut Oil Production
    Iraq faces an uphill battle in meeting its obligations to the historic production cut agreement reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers such as Russia. The production cuts are due to begin today. Not only is Baghdad mired in deep economic and political crises that show little signs of abating but Iraq’s complex service agreements with international oil companies (IOCs) operating its southern fields means that the Gulf producer would actually have to pay more money to the foreign firms working in its oil sector in excess of existing service fees if it demands the IOCs rein in output to help Iraq meet its targeted quotas. The supplemental fees, which could be millions of dollars, are stipulated in the oil field service contracts that Iraq holds with foreign oil companies that have been assisting with its oil production capacity expansion program over the last several years. The payments structure for Iraq’s service contracts means that output cuts put an added financial strain on the ability of OPEC’s second largest oil producer to comply fully with its pledged one million b/d plus output reductions in the coming months.  
  • Financial Markets
    OPEC Plus’ Zero-Sum Oil Game
    Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, international sanctions had severely curtailed Iraq’s oil industry. Oil production sat at 1.4 million barrels a day (b/d). Iraq’s beleaguered refining indu…
  • Oil and Petroleum Products
    FAQ: A Shale New Deal
    This is a guest post by Hunter Kornfeind, intern for Energy and Climate Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and current student at Temple University. A breakthrough agreement between major …
  • Oil and Petroleum Products
    OPEC in a Changing World
    Western leaders have long criticized OPEC’s power to raise oil prices, but the bloc’s influence is on the wane as U.S. oil production has soared and alternative energies have come to the fore.
  • Oil and Petroleum Products
    Oil Ground Zero: Running Out of Storage
    In recent days, the Donald J. Trump administration appears to have been sending mixed messages about oil. Typically, low oil prices can be a stimulus to the U.S. economy, but that is in situations wh…
  • Oil and Petroleum Products
    Oil Price War: Is U.S. Shale The First To Blink?
    As the oil price war continues, markets are hanging on every word coming from Washington, Moscow and Riyadh, amid signs that diplomacy could be afoot. A statement by the Kremlin’s presidential spokesperson, that Russia would like to see higher prices, signaled that Russia might be willing to blink in the Russia-Saudi oil price standoff. It appears that the fall in the ruble is larger than Moscow expected, prompting them to use up foreign currency reserves at a faster clip than anticipated. Russia could also be finding it more difficult to sell its oil in China and Europe.
  • Oil and Petroleum Products
    Turbulence in Energy Markets
    Podcast
    Panelists discuss the recent upheaval in oil markets, including potential geopolitical ramifications and prospects for a resolution.
  • Saudi Arabia
    Why Current Saudi-Russia Oil Price War Is Not Déjà Vu
    It’s happened several times before: geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia have led to a dramatic drop in oil prices in years past. But the breakdown in Saudi-Russian cooperation in oil markets over the weekend is strikingly different this time.
  • Iran
    Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Ever-Complex Geopolitics of Oil
    In a sign that anxiety about oil security of supply isn’t what it used to be, the Group of Twenty (G20) meeting broke up this week with no big joint statements regarding how to protect the freedom of…
  • China
    Is OPEC China's Problem?
    The decision by the United States to wind down waivers on U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil exports has laid bare some new realities about oil geopolitics that were previously not well understood. O…
  • Saudi Arabia
    The New Oil Darwinism
    It’s a geopolitical jungle out there in the oil world right now and only the fittest will survive. The new oil Darwinism is replacing the older thesis that all producers can succeed over time because…