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OPEC + has only one choice as oil prices

The breakdown of oil prices was halted, at least temporarily, after Saudi Arabia signaled that OPEC + production cuts would remain for a while.

"We want to do what it takes to maintain the stability of the market by June. For me, drawing down inventory from their current elevated levels, said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, according to Arab news. He said Saudi -Arabia wanted to "do what it takes" to maintain stability.

Oil prices have fallen by over 13 percent over the past two weeks, a decline that al-Falih said was "unwarranted." He added that there was one " emerging consensus among OPEC + countries, to continue work on market stability in the second half of the year. "

When asked about the growing commercial war between the United States and China, as well as the possibility of another trade war between the United States and Mexico, and the resulting pioneering effect of a global economic downturn in oil demand, al-Falih acknowledged the negative effect. "But you can be sure we will be responsive," he said.

The comments reinforce the likelihood of r that OPEC + will roll over the production cuts when they meet in Vienna in a few weeks, and extend the delivery agreement for the rest of the year. The trade war, the cracks in the world economy and the questions of demand make the elections relatively easy.

The bearish trend in the market even comes as Saudi Arabia has provided some supply in May to compensate for the decline from Iran. According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia said 1[ads1]70,000 bpd in May, while Iran lost 230,000 bpd. Some minor increases from Libya and Iraq fully offset the outbreak in Iran and helped explain why the oil market softened in May despite the "Maximum Pressure" campaign by the US on Iran. Meanwhile, Russia fell involuntarily into a 76,000 bpd decline due to the pollution crisis along the Druzhba pipeline. Related: Monthly oil set since November

However, Saudi Arabia remains below the production limit as part of the OPEC + agreement, and Riyadh has been much more careful about pumping more oil into a weakening market. It will always be difficult for Russia, which is more eager to increase production, to convince Saudi Arabia to leave production cuts after last year's breakdown. However, the latest nosy lifts mean that the ability of OPEC + to loosen the cuts has decreased significantly.

"While tight fundamentals supported oil prices through mid-May, escalating trade wars and weaker activity indicators have finally come up in the oil market," Goldman Sachs wrote in a note. The downturn over the past two weeks was probably magnified by technical trade, as speculators had been overextended. The liquidation of speculative positions probably contributed to the speed of the sale.

So, where do we go from here? OPEC + will probably keep the cuts in place, which can prevent a full blown glute, on the way out of a deeper slide. Supply losses, prospects for further losses in Venezuela, Iran and Libya will also reduce any profits. Goldman Sachs says prices can "get out of here", but with increased volatility. The big question now is how influenced the trade war will be on demand, and to a greater extent how much the global economy slows down. Related: Iraq's ambitious oil plan faces a major problem

The Investment Bank says there are three major factors that are "erroneous developments" in the oil market – "Permian debottlenecking, supply response from low-cost producers and IMO 2020 "New pipelines and new export capacity along the US Gulf Coast should" lower the global marginal cost of production, "Goldman analysts say. The addition of new US supplies and integration in the global market should limit the difference between WTI and Brent. Finally, it presents a "multi-year threat to market shares and revenues" by OPEC + producers. As a result, Goldman sees Brent fall from $ 72.50 in the second quarter to $ 65.50 in the third quarter, and then down to $ 60 a barrel next year.

The prospect of higher US slate exit and weakening demand from the commercial war does not make Bode good for oil prices. In the short term, OPEC + production slumps should prevent a much deeper decline.

By Nick Cunningham from

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