The hopes were never high for the OPEC – Non-OPEC meeting in Doha, the capital of Qatar. And now, a Saudi Deputy Crown Prince makes two tough statements that put any agreement in jeopardy.
Is it some last minute wrangling meant to put pressure on the Iranians? Or are we set for a total collapse in oil prices on Monday?
Here is the Bloomberg report about what Mohammed Bin Salman had to say,
The world’s largest oil exporter could increase output to 11.5 million barrels a day immediately and go to 12.5 million in six to nine months “if we wanted to,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Chairman of the Supreme Council of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., said in an interview Thursday. The country pumped 10.2 million barrels a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In addition, this influential persona conditioned a production freeze in a similar move from their big rivals across the gulf: Iran. Iran just made a comeback from international sanctions. They are ready to “freeze” production only at very high levels. They will only be sending a low-level representative to Doha.
The summit is scheduled for Sunday, April 17th, but negotiations are going on all time. Oil prices dropped to $40.38 on WTI crude oil on Friday as expectations for a meaningful deal already dropped.
The Canadian dollar will see the strongest reaction from the news, but the price of the black gold has also been well correlated with the general mood in markets: higher prices in oil meant higher prices in stocks and commodity currencies while lower prices saw a stronger safe haven yen against a drop everywhere else.