OPEC+ managed to stabilize oil prices after what had been an incredibly volatile week, with the cartel adding plenty of caveats to its decision to stick to its plan vis-a-vis oil production increases, OilPrice said. 

The most anticipated event of the week – a decision from OPEC+ on whether or not it would halt its monthly 400,000 b/d oil production increase – ended up being a bit of a non-event as the countries agreed to stick with the original plan but maintained the option to reverse that decision if necessary. Whilst oil prices did originally fall on the news, subsequent details about the caveats involved placated the market’s fears of OPEC+ disregarding Omicron risks.

First, OPEC+ vowed to reconvene quickly if market conditions shift. Second, countries that have heretofore overproduced their quotas will see their upcoming production targets capped so as to balance their annual numbers. These caveats helped to push oil prices higher at the end of the week, OilPrice reports. 

Iran has submitted a draft proposal on the removal of sanctions and its nuclear commitments arising there from, with the sixth round of nuclear talks in Vienna kicking off last week. With less than a month left of 2021, the US administration is reportedly readying to issue biofuels blending mandates for US oil refiners for 2021, a decision the Biden administration has delayed for more than a year. Considering RIN prices started falling this week, the market feeling is that of retroactively lower blending requirements.

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said it had scrapped plans to develop the 170 MMbbls Cambo field in the British North Sea, leaving project operator Siccar Point alone vis-à-vis environmentalists stating its development would be detrimental to marine life. The Cypriot government awarded the offshore Block 05 to the consortium of ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy, adjacent to their jointly developed gas-rich Block 10, once a point of contention with Egypt as part of the acreage abuts its maritime borders,OilPrice said.