As expected, OPEC members failed to reach an agreement on a new production ceiling at its most recent meeting in Vienna. Despite an agreement, OPEC members did show signs of increased unity. Specifically, Saudi Arabia promised at the meeting not to flood the market with extra oil, suggesting a softening of its previous stance where it rigorously pumped to defend its market share. Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih noted that "We will be very gentle in our approach and make sure we don't shock the market in any way." Further, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh noted that he saw no signs at the Vienna meeting that other member countries wanted to boost output steeply. In a final sign of increased cooperation, OPEC members did reach consensus on appointing Nigeria’s candidate as new secretary-general. His appointment demonstrates that OPEC has at least overcome squabbles that scuppered consensus on the top job at previous summits. Overall, increased cooperation between OPEC members, combined with steadily declining non-OPEC production (evidenced by surprise declines in U.S. crude inventories more recently) are both positive signs for the price of oil going forward.
A Canadian Energy expert