Published in MarketWatch
Omar Al-Ubaydli, a program director at the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies, referred to the output cap speculation as a “red herring.”
Everyone is producing as much as they can or want to produce anyway, “so an output freeze is equivalent to all the runners in the 100-meter final saying: ‘Let’s agree to not run faster than 9 seconds’.”
“In that case, they just want to project collective power,” said Al-Ubaydli, who’s also an affiliated senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Some producers may intend to exhibit “willful production restraint,” but an agreement would “unravel within days or weeks since there is no reliable way to monitor cheaters and everyone has a history of cheating,” he said, adding that OPEC had a 96% output quota violation rate from 1980 to 2009.
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