- Oil prices sank to multi-year lows on Friday as the outcome from the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna remained uncertain.
- OPEC’s allies rejected additional production cuts proposed by OPEC on Thursday.
- Both U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude and international benchmark Brent crude fell more than 8% at the session low.
Oil prices sank 8% to multi-year lows on Friday as OPEC’s allies rejected additional production cuts proposed by OPEC on Thursday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slid more than 8.6% to a session low of $41.85, its lowest level since August 2016. International benchmark Brent crude slid more than 8.8% to a session low of $45.37 per barrel, its lowest level since June 2017.
The meeting between OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, is underway in Vienna after talks were delayed.
On Thursday, OPEC recommended additionalÂ production cuts of 1.5 million barrels per day from the beginning of next month until the end of the year.Â The 14-member group scheduled a meeting on June 9 to review the policy.
The proposal was conditional on support from non-OPEC producers, including Russia. OPEC cautioned that the deal could only be applied on a pro-rata basis with core members set to cut 1 million barrels per day and non-OPEC partners expected to cut 500,000 barrels per day.
Oil has tumbled into bear market territory as the coronavirus outbreak has led to softer demand, and many on the Street expected OPEC to step in in a bid to prop up prices.
“The OPEC+ confab is devolving into the worst case scenario for the group. Last night, the best case scenario for the group was touted: a cut of 1.5 million bpd through year-end. That scheme hinged on Russian participation, however, which is not forthcoming,” Again Capital’s John Kilduff said. “The group may now end up merely extending the current production scheme, with no additional cuts, and the market is punishing them for that potential outcome,” he added.
Kilduff said that without the additional cut of at least 1 million barrels per day WTI prices could head into the upper $30s.
The last time OPEC+ reduced supply on such a scale was in 2008 when it took 4.2 million barrels per day off the market to support oil prices in the wake of the financial crisis.
The oil producers first committed to curtailing their collective production policy back in 2016 in an effort to bolster prices, with the deal coming into force in January 2017.
In December 2019, it was extended and the alliance agreed to curb oil output by approximately 1.7 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia then opted to cut its own production voluntarily by an additional 400,000 b/d for three months, should fellow members stick to their commitments.
– CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.