The oil market is at risk of overheating



John Kemp | Sydney Morning Herald

By deciding to leave production unchanged for another month at its meeting, OPEC+ risks causing the oil market to overheat and creating conditions for more instability in future.

The expanded group of oil exporters defied expectations of a majority of analysts and traders that it would respond to escalating prices and an intensifying backwardation in the futures market by raising output.

But the decision should not have come as a complete surprise. It is consistent with the group’s behaviour over the last decade, and with OPEC-only behaviour for the decade before.

The group’s decision-making has usually lagged market conditions when prices are falling – but especially when they are rising.

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