The OPEC | Mexican Standoff
“The above was agreed by all the OPEC & non-OPEC oil producing countries participating in the Declaration of Cooperation, with the exception of Mexico, and as a result, the agreement is conditional on the consent of Mexico” - OPEC
Upcoming Oil/Production Policy Dates:
April 9th (yesterday): OPEC+ Meeting (conditional deal)
April 10th, AM: Potential OPEC+ Deal (waiting on Mexico)
April 10th: G-20 Meeting - Potential Deal on top of OPEC+
April 14th: TX RRC Pioneer / Parsley Hearing
April 21st: TX RRC makes proration decision
Let us begin by giving credit, where credit is due.
This guy - OPEC Secretary General Nigerian Mohammed Barkindo:
Politics aside, if the goal was to to use policy to intervene in the oil markets, in an attempt to minimize damage to the Global Oil & Gas Industry, we believe that Secretary General Barkindo used the tools at hand appropriately -
Before the meeting, Barkindo set tone - the APPO (effectively, the African wing of OPEC), released a statement, saying that they would support as a group the efforts or OPEC & non-OPEC members to stabilize the oil markets.
And they did. Pushback came from other participants.
Preemptive commitment is simply good leadership.
Secretary General Barkindo then delivered the opening remarks, which we recommend everyone read.
A few noteworthy statements:
“It is imperative we take urgent action. It is in all of our interests, and it is also in the interests of consumers. That is not to say that any medicine will be easy; obviously, it won’t. But it is clear that it is needed. And it will benefit us all.”
“These difficult times require unparalleled flexibility and commitment.”
“To put this in some context, the OPEC Secretariat’s assessment of available global oil storage capacity stands over one billion barrels.”
“Given the current unprecedented supply and demand imbalance there could be a colossal excess volume of 14.7 mb/d in the 2Q20. This oversupply would add a further 1.3 billion barrels to global crude oil stocks, and hence exhaust the available global crude oil storage capacity within the month of May.”
10 1/2 hours of statements & negotiations followed Sec Gen Barkindo’s opening remarks.
TL;DR - AMLO was being a PENDEJO
The events, as they happened:
The heads of the delegations took turns speaking in an open door session
Rumors begin to circulate of a 20MM bopd cut
WTI spikes 10%
Russia calls for other countries (US) to participate
Saudi calls for a large cut; Angola supports
10-12MM bopd cut, beginning in June is discussed
Saudi & Russia seem to be in agreement on their share
Tension among the group on where the rest comes from
10MM bopd cut, beginning in May, is now the discussion
Negotiations turn to where the baseline for the cuts begin
Saudi & Russia want 11.3MM bopd to be their baseline
In Jan, Saudi was producing 9.75MM bopd; the baseline matters
All other members push back on these baselines
Saudi Minister expresses the need to extend the cuts until Apr 2022
Expectation is an additional 5MM bopd cut from G-20 meeting
Iran, Libya & Venezuela are made exempt from the deal
Smaller producers want assurances that the US participates
Kazakhstsan, Brunei & Mexico express displeasure w/ their baselines
Kazakhstsan & Brunei agree
Mexico remains as the only holdout
WTI proceeds to drop 10% for the day (a 20% intra-day swing)
Mexico proceeds to reject both its baseline & cut size
After 4 1/2 hrs of making the group wait, Mexico’s representative leaves the “virtual” meeting; it is after 2am in Saudi Arabia…
An agreement is drafted, conditional on Mexico’s participation
Debate continues as to whether Mexico will be included
At ~5AM Saudi time, the meeting is adjourned, no agreement
At 6:45AM in Riyadh / Moscow, OPEC releases a statement of conditional agreement
Aside from conditionality, the main takeaway from OPEC’s statement was:
“Adjust downwards their overall crude oil production by 10.0 MM B/D, starting on 1 May 2020, for an initial period of two months that concludes on 30 June 2020” - OPEC
**It’s hard to gauge how this plays out - there should be more clarity after the G-20 meeting today**
Well, that Fallen-Angel thing we were talking about on Wednesday…
***Literally - the next day - the Fed attacked the issue***
Ford was one of those Fallen Angel credits…
… they lost their IG rating in March.
“…will purchase in the secondary market eligible individual corporate bonds as well as eligible corporate bond portfolios in the form of exchange-traded funds (ETFs)”
“An issuer that was rated at least BBB-/Baa3 as of March 22, 2020, but was subsequently downgraded, must be rated at least BB-/Ba3 as of the date on which the Facility makes a purchase. If rated by multiple major NRSROs, such an issuer must be rated at least BB-/Ba3 by two or more NRSROs at the time the Facility makes a purchase”
Like we said, markets are trading off of liquidity.
Right now, we don't think valuation-based expectation trading works.
Liquidity-based expectation trading is working…
But we just don’t see how anyone can consistently forecast the policy moves that are driving liquidity.
***The Fed buying ETFs was beyond the wildest dreams of MMT Bernie Bros 8x weeks ago***
Outside of Credit Markets, look at how WTI was moving during the OPEC meeting:
***A 20% intra-day swing has only happened 3x times in the last 30yrs***
So, yeah - right now - if you’re actively trading anything based on fundamentals… good luck.
And if you are that gambler, you better not be using leverage with market value tests.
Or short-term repo.
Getting margin called or having a repo facility closed on you is a great way to end up in Michael Lewis’s next book -
US banks prepare to seize shale assets
Lenders are backing out of the Hilcorp / BP Alaska deal
Chesapeake may finally file Chapter 11
That’s it for this week - if you get a chance, this interview is worth watching - they don’t get to heart of the issue, but it’s the closer than most other public conversations - catch y’all Tuesday.