This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 23, 2018:
“It’s not for us to declare on behalf of the Vienna agreement [the OPEC production-cut agreement in force since January 2017] that it is ‘mission accomplished’, but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week. Those production cuts, aided by the rolling disaster in Venezuela that continues to take crude oil production off the world market, have, according to the IEA, brought down the world’s crude oil stocks within shouting distance of OPEC’s goal: the five-year average of those stocks.
Compliance among members of the OPEC cartel and its friends (including Russia) has been extraordinarily high, with Saudi Arabia helping things along by cutting its own production far more deeply than the agreement called for.
U.S. production, estimated to approach 11 million barrels a day by the end of the year (twice what it was just seven years ago), has been unable to match the production cuts and worldwide demand, which has greatly surprised to the upside.
Add in concerns that on May 12 the president of the United States will decide