On Monday, Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari discussed "ways to work together to improve stability" in the market. Such actions were very surprising since it is unusual for the prince to call on other leaders to discuss OPEC issues.
Recently, OPEC and its partners pledged to reduce oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day. It was devised to offset the loss in demand caused by the crisis, but some members of the coalition, especially Iraq and Nigeria, did not fulfill the agreement. Because of this, the prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, stepped up to resolve the issue.
According to Mele Kyari, managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, one of the oil producers in Nigeria already promised additional restrictions to compensate for its initial non-compliance. Some cuts were already made in early June, while the rest will be fully completed by mid-July.
However, recent loading schedules in the country suggest that compensation reductions may not occur.
Nevertheless, Nigeria is expected to produce about 1.37 million barrels of crude oil per day next month in order to meet its OPEC quota and offset past violations. But in July, the planned export volume is 1.38 million. Deliveries are also planned to increase in August.
Over the past few years, Nigeria has regularly deviated from its obligations to OPEC in an effort to support a weak economy and increase incomes for the African population.
Meanwhile, demand for oil is gradually improving, but it is still far from pre-crisis levels. Governments in the European Union have extended travel ban for US residents, so summer trips are still restricted. Such hinders the increase of demand and consumption for fuel.
The ongoing growth in US stocks also put pressure on prices, which are still 35% lower than last year. Over the past three weeks, crude oil inventories have increased globally. The data which the government will release on Wednesday will indicate if the situation is getting worse.
Another threat to market recovery is the resumption of well operations by some US manufacturers. ConocoPhillips is the latest company to announce the restart of its production next month.
Although an increase in US production complicates OPEC's task of balancing the market, the organization has already fulfilled its historic promise to reduce production. Saudi Arabia and Russia have reduced exports to multi-year lows.
Another highlight for the oil market is the recovery of demand in China. The production data in June has surpassed expectations, which indicates the increasing demand from the world's largest consumer.
"The worst is over," said Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco. "I am very optimistic about the second half of this year because as of today, demand in China has recovered by almost 90%."
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