Derek Brower, VIENNA: When the biggest excitement around an
Opec meeting is about a technocratic appointment to head the
group’s secretariat, oil traders can rest easy.
Opec meets in Vienna on 12 December with oil consistently
trading within a price range that should satisfy both the
group’s price hawks — Algeria, Iran, Iraq
and Venezuela — and the doves of the Gulf, led by
Saudi Arabia. That suggests the group will roll over its 30
million barrel a day (b/d) production ceiling tomorrow. Any
efforts — possibly led by Iran — to persuade
Opec to lower the ceiling will be rejected by Saudi Arabia, the
group’s lynchpin. The Kingdom has spent the past
eight months insisting that prices should ease back towards
$100/b to help struggling consumer economies. It has not yet
changed its mind. In the afternoon on 11 December, front-month
Brent was trading up at around $107.80 a...