Vitol Chief Says OPEC Freeze at Today’s Levels Not Good Enough

  • Producers may need to tighten further to push up price: Taylor
  • Crude seen moving closer to $55 a barrel by end of next year

Vitol CEO Sees OPEC Freeze as Not Quite Good Enough

A move by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to freeze output won’t be sufficient to buoy the market, according to the world’s largest independent oil trader.

Capping production at today’s levels is “probably not quite good enough,” Vitol Group of Cos. Chief Executive Officer Ian Taylor said in a Bloomberg Television interview as OPEC members gathered in Algiers on Wednesday. The organization may need to tighten supply further to drive up prices, a task that could be “too much to grasp at this particular meeting,” he said.

Ian Taylor on Sept. 28.

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Major oil-producing nations will meet in the Algerian capital to discuss ways to stabilize the market following a two-year slide in the price of crude. While Saudi Arabia has offered to pump less oil if regional rival Iran caps output, neither country expects a formal agreement this week, suggesting a deal is more likely at OPEC’s next gathering in November.

“For all the OPEC countries the price of oil is very low,” Taylor said in an earlier interview at the Bloomberg Most Influential summit in London. “It’s a struggle for them.”

Benchmark Brent oil is trading below $47 a barrel in London, less than half its value two years ago amid a persistent global glut.

“I cannot see a good reason for a major increase in the price of oil” since the market remains “way oversupplied,” Taylor said. Crude may move “closer to $55” by the end of 2017 as producers reduce investment in maintaining supply and fields age, he said.

To watch Taylor’s interview with Bloomberg, click here.

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