OPEC will have to decide whether to extend global oil cuts without knowing whether they’re triggering a new flood of rival supply from U.S. shale producers.
Analysts gave differing outlooks for U.S. shale output in a briefing to officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, stoking concern ahead of OPEC’s planned meeting on Nov. 30, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The analysts included Andy Hall, the veteran crude trader who closed his hedge fund this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the briefing was private.
The duration of any extension in output limits will depend partly on estimates of future supplies of U.S. shale and other competing crudes. OPEC and allied producers including Russia are to gather next week in Vienna to assess oil markets and decide whether to extend their historic cuts beyond March. Several OPEC ministers, including Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, have expressed support for longer cuts, which took effect in January.
Some OPEC officials are uneasy that no one seems to have a clear view of just how much shale oil will be hitting the market, the people said.