Recall, from the get go, people who deal not just in oil or economy, but practical geopolitics too, predicted and stressed that Russia will cut production ONLY when the United States joins in. Call it whatever you want, OPEC ++, Cartel, Toys R US, but it is happening. Let's recall what was pointed out by many (me included):
The condition to Trump was articulated, in fact, spelled in the most clear and easily understood way: Russia is going to negotiate ONLY on the condition of the United States joining those negotiations and showing readiness to cut own production.It is either that or the United States cuts production in the most uncontrolled manner down the road due to obvious economic depression unfolding in a front of our very own eyes.
So, the United States made a correct choice and joined in.
OPEC+ will cut 9.7 million barrels a day -- just below the initial proposal of 10 million. The U.S., Brazil and Canada will contribute another 3.7 million barrels as their production declines. OPEC officials were still waiting to hear more from Group of 20 members -- though it’s not clear if those numbers will represent real cuts or just production idled because of market forces.
Didn't we tell you so? I understand that the second wave of reasonable enough questions on how can one trust the United States in this matter is coming. The answer to that is damn simple--the United States is profoundly invested in this cut because it is about the United States' oil industry survival as such. It is akin to a victim of an earthquake having one of its legs completely smashed by a fallen massive concrete block and facing two options: either die in place with his leg under this block or have the leg amputated in place (yes, this was performed in reality and not for once), because it would have been amputated anyway, and have a good fat shot at continuing living. Yes, as a disabled person, but still--alive with most of functions still intact. That is a good analogy. This is exactly how it all happened.
There are still speculations on what will be the actual American contribution to global cuts, but it is clear it will be at least 2 million bpd and possibly as high as 3 (in Russian). It is a historic deal and it is a first step to global oil cartel--the exact strategic objective of Russia who simply got tired from propping up American oil and gas producers by playing along with OPEC. Now let the speculations and rumor mill, together with face saving spins, start but it is clear that MBS and Saudis had their ass handed to them, as was expected, plus they ended up having to shoulder all blame for starting the war against US shale oil. The big guns, meanwhile, have a lot to discuss apart from OPEC++, oil and other energy issues. But that is a separate story and it is related to Noblesse Oblige. In news related to that issue: Putin spoke yesterday, on the eve of Russian Day of Cosmonautics (April 12, 1961 Gagarin launched into space), to the crew of ISS and praised Moscow-Washington cooperation in space.
It is a coincidence but I also congratulate my Western Christian denominations friends with Easter (Eastern Orthodox one is on April 19) and as they say in Slavic countries: Christos Voskrese (Christ is risen). Good health and good fortune to all of you.