Draft Of Doha “Oil Freeze” Agreement Leaked

Draft Of Doha “Oil Freeze” Agreement Leaked

Tyler Durden’s pictureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2016 19:05 -0400

With the world’s attention about to focus on Qatar where in just a few hours the Doha OPEC “freeze” meeting is supposed to start (without the presence of Iran which has made it clear it won’t freeze production but “supports the decision for other OPEC and non-OPEC countries to freeze crude oil production” so everyone except Iran), moments ago Tass presented a glimpse of what will be announced.

According to the Russian news agency, a draft agreement of the oil producer countries expected to be signed tomorrow in Doha stipulates that the output will be frozen at the level of January 2016 until October, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Saturday on the eve of a major off-schedule conference of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing nations.

“The draft agreement is not large,” Aliyev said. “It is as follows: the states gathering in Doha have reached a conclusion that for normalizing the oil price they agreed to freeze the output at the level of January 2016 until October.”

In other words, the member nations will agree to “freeze” production at output levels that are already record high for the Saudis, Russians and Iraq, even as Iran just boosted its production by some half a million barrels per day.

There is just one problem: there is no actual enforcement mechanism, and since this is OPEC where everyone looks to cheat before everyone else, it means that the ink on the agreement won’t be dry yet, and every country will be pumping like mad to new record-er highs.

According to Tass, the agreement in Doha to freeze oil output will be “gentlemen-like” as the draft stipulates no control mechanisms, Aliyev went on to say.

Aliyev said that “the agreement is gentlemen-like as the countries realize that the maintained norms of output will suit the joint interests. It does not envisage any control mechanisms and each country should observe its implementation.” Which, incidentally, is decidedly false as Saudi Arabia clearly has had its own unique interests ever since the November 2014 OPEC meeting which saw Saudi Arabia break out on its own and in the process effectively end the OPEC production cartel.

“There is no need in a supervisory body,” he said. “No proposals have come since it will have no influence on the countries.”

So… why is OPEC even pretending to freeze production? Oh yes, in hopes the algos will be dumb enough to attempt another forced short squeeze.

“We are ready to sign the agreement in a form that we have seen,” Aliyev said.

Which is another lie, as just last night the Saudi deputy crown price said without Iran, the world’s biggest oil producer will also not sign. Not adhering to the truth did not stop the Azerbaijani, however, who continued:”We believe that all the delegates who arrived in Doha are set to sign it, or why then they came here, otherwise.”

Meanwhile, OPEC has already set its price target as a result of tomorrow’s farcical agreement.

The oil price will be climbing up slowly but persistently to $50 per barrel by the end of 2016 after big oil producer countries seal a deal in Doha, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev told TASS on Saturday.

“The higher is the price the better,” Aliyev said. “But we expect that it will be slowly and gradually increasing towards $50 per barrel by the year’s end. The next year we will be satisfied with the price of $60 per barrel.”

Natiq Aliyev may be quickly disappointed with his $50 forecast, unless he is of course right, in which case US shale producers who have been taking every opportunity to hedge future production around $40, will promptly resume pumping at maximum capacity and add to the global oil glut which as of this moment is between 2 and 3 million barrels per day, and where the real problem remains a lack of demand to force the excess supply into equilibrium.

* * *

Finally, for those who missed it on Friday, here again is Citi’s one minute assessment of how the market will react to the “gentleman-like agreement”

If there is no agreement, then expect a sharp oil market sell-off on Monday. If there is an agreement in name but market participants realize it has no teeth, except a slower sell-off.

To summarize:

    Iran will be absent as it wants no part of a production freeze

    Saudis have confirmed no production freeze unless Iran also freezes

    A gentleman-like agreement to cap production until October (or another 5 months of headline-driven algo stop hunts higher) at what are already record production levels for the top oil producing nations.

    No enforcement mechanism.

We fully expect the algos to fall for it again, especially with an early momentum jolt higher courtesy of 1 or 2 central banks.

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