Oil and Gas

OPEC: We caught the markets off-guard with production limit

OPEC debate about timing: UAE energy minister

Demand for crude oil in 2016 is seen edging higher compared to last year, while supply is forecast to be slightly lower, according to the October OPEC market report, which highlights how money managers were caught out by a new deal to limit production.

This month's revisions to the forecasts are minimal, with only a 0.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) rise in demand added to both annual forecasts since September's report.

Overall, the report – released Wednesday - anticipates the gap between demand and supply moving up by 1.8 mb/d to 31.82 in 2016 from 30.06 in 2015. This dynamic slightly exacerbating the market's imbalance in favor of producers, in a trend expected to continue into 2017 when the gap is seen increasing to 32.59.

This is the first monthly note from the cartel since OPEC members agreed in Algiers last month to limit production, a move which "caught the market off-guard", according to the report, and prompted a strong rally in prices of both Brent and WTI crude.

Speaking to CNBC at the World Energy Congress, UAE (United Arab Emirates) Oil Minister, Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui, sounded a confident note on the likelihood of the deal's success.

"I am optimistic as well about the commitment from oil members and I think the fact that we hear also that Russia is committed to work with us is also encouraging," he said.

The wild price gyrations experienced in recent years was cited by the minister as a key problem in harming the forward-looking development of the industry.

"The biggest worry is the level of investment in this important commodity is going down and that worries everyone, not only the producers, I think the suppliers to a greater extent," he said.

"The market needs to see a sustainable price that encourages investors to put more investments," he added.

OPEC good on carrots, but lacks sticks: CEO

Meanwhile, Neil Passmore,CEO at Hannam & Partners, told CNBC Wednesday he believed the noises emanating from the group gave reasons for early optimism.

"Certainly at first blush, (this is) far more coordinated, constructive sounding messaging than we've heard for some while from those groups,"he said.

However, he cautioned against prematurely reading too much into the arrangement, saying, "the next month is incredibly important."

Ryad Kramdi | AFP | Getty Images

Passmore referred to OPEC's poor record of achieving coordination between members, saying the cartel had historically failed to follow through on pledges once discussions became difficult.

He also noted certain conditions which may make success in the current climate even more challenging than in the past.

"The entities that constitute OPEC have become more fragmented. So it is probably a more disparate, diverse base if you look at the varying political agendas of Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela at the moment,they are probably as wide as they have ever been in history."

However, Al Mazroui was keen to emphasise the solidarity of the group and its common desire to help develop a better functioning system for trading of the commodity.

"Most of the countries I've seen them in Algeria, are committed, they are engaged and everyone wants to contribute to something that helps the market," he said.

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