The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, and other oil-related exchange traded products remain beholden to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Of course, that includes Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer. After the non-OPEC producers’ cuts, total reduction now represents almost 2% of global supply. The reductions took effect January 1, and the oil producers will reconvene after six months to evaluate the results of the deal.
In a reversal of previous sentiments, Saudi Arabia accepted Iran’s higher output target as a special case. Previous OPEC talks broke down after Iran, which suffered from curtailed exports under strict global sanctions, argued for increasing its output to pre-sanction levels. However, there are some potential problem children within the cartel that could undermine the output reduction effort
Saudi Arabia is eyeing oil at $60 barrel this year, a comfortable price for many OPEC members, but probably not high enough to encourage U.S. shale producers to significantly increase their rig counts. Getting there is another matter.