But the policy's made a difference where it really counts: juicing the coffers of finance ministries from Baghdad to Caracas.
The U.S. shale market is currently in the process of rebalancing, according to the JBC chairman, who says that the era of falling production costs has now been replaced by stability but could soon turn to a climate of rising costs. "The bottom line for oil producers begins, unsurprisingly, with a dollar sign and ends in billions".
Last year, Iraq had pushed to be exempt from the initial cut, saying it needed money to fight the Islamic State.
"Now that OPEC is headed down this path, it must figure out a way to gradually step away from deliberate supply management when it believes the fundamentals merit their incremental oil", they said". Even those countries that question whether an extension can re-balance the market and bring down elevated stockpiles don't oppose an extension.
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"For Algeria, the higher the price the better, but the budget focused on $50 a barrel in 2017, $55 a barrel in 2018".
Brent has averaged $53.90 per barrel so far this year. Futures in NY rose for a sixth day, trading near a one-month high.
Yet another reason for Wednesday's losses may be due to the growing awareness that OPEC is providing a band-aid solution to the oil and gas woes: BMI Research said the cartel's cuts will only result in a balanced market this year, and from 2018 onward markets will return to oversupply. As oil spot prices have been lower than futures prices since the end of 2014, shale oil producers have been able to sell their oil at higher prices than major OPEC producers. The talks in Vienna are closely followed elsewhere as they can affect everything from the share price of Exxon Mobil Corp.to the Brazilian real and Nigerian sovereign bonds.
Crude has climbed as Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russian Federation rally support for an extension into 2018 of the output-cut deal by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. "We need to see - six months or nine months", he said. Players already on the floor may have to consider which parties cut production, by how much and for how long.
"This offsets almost half of OPEC's production cuts", it noted.
US crude was flat at $51.48 a barrel, after near-month futures have climbed for the past five sessions, as the Energy Information Administration showed a bigger-than-expected drop in oil inventories last week while production rebounded.
"We have not developed a strategy, but in unforeseen circumstances of mass disruptions somewhere, of course OPEC is very fragile we will do what is necessary to ensure the global market has supply but we don't plan for any circumstances", he told reporters.