OPEC Deal Disintegrates After Iran Press Accuses Saudi Arabia Of "Reneging" On Agreement

On Friday, after reading the latest shift in the ever-changing, always fluid OPEC narrative, according to which Saudi Arabia now demands Iranian oil production cuts contrary to the agreement reached at the end of September in Algiers, in which Iran was granted an exemption from the upcoming supply cut negotiation in Vienna on November 30, we were confused:

This morning there is less confusion because according to Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency, the OPEC agreement is effectively dead with Iran's government mouthpiece reporting that "on the eve of OPEC Meeting, Saudi Arabia has officially declared a war on oil prices by releasing a tactical letter as well as applying pressure on certain OPEC members."

As the news report - which likely telegraphs the position of Iran's oil ministry - lays out, Iran is now once again lashing out at Saudi Arabia and raising a diplomatic scandal over the terms of the November 30 OPEC meeting just days in advance, in what will likely lead to a substantial renegotiation if not outright failure of the deal.

Here are the key excerpts from the report:

On the verge of the 171st Ordinary OPEC Meeting to convene on November 30 in Vienna of Austria and at a time when the world's major producers and exporters of crude oil are preparing to adopt one of the most historic decisions on freezing oil prices, Saudis seem to have reneged on earlier promises.  

During the earlier informal meeting of OPEC ministers in Algeria in late September, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a consensus on putting a cap on production levels and the session urged participants to prepare for freezing or even reducing OPEC's aggregate oil output to 32.5 million barrels per day by holding expert meetings and forming a common working group.

Over the past few weeks, several meetings at expert level were held among member states in different parts of the world and even non-OPEC states like Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Oman voiced readiness to stabilize or decrease their production levels.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has questioned all agreements and negotiations on freezing oil prices by publishing a political and planned letter ahead of the forthcoming OPEC meeting.

Accordingly Saudi Arabia, in an official letter to OPEC, has announced that it will not take part at the lower-tier talks on Nov. 28 in Vienna ahead of the OPEC ministerial meeting on Nov. 30 since "OPEC ministers first need to agree on cutting output and inform non-member countries about their agreement." 

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