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Inside, confidential and off the record


Al-Falih “omnipotent”

Mr. al-Falih (right) has the backing of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed (left). Saudis are at odds with Iran over oil policy.

Regarding the impending OPEC meeting in Vienna this week, much is being made of the fact that the new Saudi Oil Minister, Mr. Khalid al-Falih, has arrived in Vienna several days before the meeting is to begin. Many see this as a sign that Mr. al-Falih is indeed taking the impending meeting seriously and that is perhaps a proper view of his travels to Vienna. But then perhaps it is nothing more than Mr. al-Falih hoping to have time and to be prepared for meetings with individual national oil/energy spokespeople.

Also, it is worth remembering that Mr. al-Falih's “portfolio” as given to him by the King is larger than was that of his long standing predecessor, Mr. Ali al-Naimi. Mr. al-Naimi was responsible, of course, for the Kingdom's oil industry, but Mr. al-Falih is now responsible for that too, but it also responsible for Saudi Arabia's broad energy industries, industry generally, mining and renewable fuels. Further, Mr. al-Falih has the backing of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed, and as long as he has the Crown Prince's “mantle”... which by extension means that he has the “mantle” of the King too...and t hus his scope of authority is unmatched. Mr. al-Naimi was powerful; Mr. al-Falih is seemingly “omnipotent” when it comes to Saudi energy policy.

Yesterday, another early arrival to Vienna... the Oil Minister from the UAE, Mr. Suhail bin Mohammed al- Mazroui... said that he was quite happy with the current level of cooperation amongst OPEC members; that the market was doing what it must and should to find a price level “That is fair to the consumers and the producers ” of crude oil and that intervention by the cartel is unnecessary at this time. As he said regarding any changes in the production schedules or quotas in effect and any changes that might be made,

We need to wait. The market will fix itself to a price that is fair to the consumers and producers. This year is a year of correction. The rules of the market... that is of supply and demand... are working and I think that is the essence of this policy.

It is worth remembering that the last time OPEC made any change in the quotas assigned to its member nations was back in '08... eight long years ago! Compare this to the fact that between '98 and '08, OPEC made 27 changes to its production quotas!

Dennis Gartman / The Gartman / June 01, 2016

ISSUES.... 06/ 01 / 2016 - Send Us Your Issues

ISSUES.... Inside, confidential and off the record
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