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Market Meltdown: How OPEC Is Projected to Change

市场崩溃:石油输出国组织将何去何从



As fallout over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues, the U.S. – Saudi relationship may be facing its toughest test since the 1973 Oil Embargo. The world’s largest crude exporter, and defacto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is once again threatening to use its vast energy resources as political retribution, alluding to possible price spikes reaching $200 per barrel (bbl) if foreign governments attempt to punish the Saudi regime for Khashoggi’s murder. A Riyadh engineered oil price-spike seems less likely now given the recent downturn in oil prices, but the Kingdom’s influence over energy markets should not be underestimated.

随着贾迈勒·卡舒吉被谋杀的余波的持续,美国和沙特的关系可能面临自1973年第一次石油?;岳醋钛暇目佳?。世界上最大的原油出口国和事实上的石油输出国组织的领袖再次威胁要使用其丰富的能源资源进行政治报复,它暗示如果外国政府试图就卡舒吉遭谋杀事件惩罚沙特政权,那么石油价格就可能飙升到每桶200美元。鉴于近期油价的下跌,利雅得策划的油价飙升现在看来不太可能发生,但沙特对能源市场的影响力不应被低估。

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The overlap of mutual interest looks compelling. Both the United States and Saudi Arabia seek to contain Iranian power and fatally damage its regime. Both the US and the Kingdom are protective of their respective oil market share. Both see the best long-term benefit in stable, moderate oil prices. And between August and October of this year, oil prices seemed to be climbing at a dangerous pace – reaching their highest point since 2014.

共同利益的重叠看起来令人信服。美国和沙特阿拉伯都试图遏制伊朗的势力,并对其政权造成致命伤害。美国和沙特都在?;じ髯缘氖褪谐》荻?。两个国家都认为,稳定、温和的油价将带来最大的长期效益。今年8月至10月期间,油价似乎在以危险的速度攀升——达到自2014年以来的最高水平。

To achieve the common aim of market stability, both understood that more oil needed to be pumped into the global economy, necessarily exerting downward pressure on oil prices. For the Trump administration, more oil production means cheaper gas at the pump in the run-up and aftermath to the 2020 November elections. For OPEC and its new group of non-member allies – which now includes Russia – moderate prices translate to locked-in demand, preventing consumers from investing in electric vehicles and alternative fuel sources.

为了实现市场稳定的共同目标,双方都明白需要向全球经济注入更多的石油,这必然会给油价带来下行压力。对特朗普政府来说,增加石油产量意味着在2020年11月大选之前和之后,加油站的汽油价格会更便宜。对于石油输出国组织及其新组建的非成员国联盟(目前包括俄罗斯)而言,适度的油价会转化为被锁定的需求,从而阻止消费者投资于电动汽车和替代燃料领域。

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Foreign producers watched all this very intently. Correctly perceiving a threat to market share, OPEC moved to stifle -- if not strangle outright -- the fledgling U.S. shale industry’s merging impact on the global market. The Saudi-led strategy had a basic simplicity: Flood the world with low-cost crude and push oil prices down, thereby undermining the budding shale industry and prevent the US from recovering its mid-20 th century oil market pre-eminence.

外国生产商密切关注着这一切。正确地认识它对市场份额构成的威胁后,石油输出国组织采取了行动,开始遏制——如果不是彻底扼杀的话——羽翼未丰的美国页岩油气行业对全球市场的影响。沙特主导的战略非常简单:向全球大量供应低成本原油,压低油价,从而削弱新兴的页岩油行业,并阻止美国恢复其20世纪中期所拥有的石油市场的主导地位。

But this “drive ‘em to the wall” strategy failed. By this past August, the US reached a daily output of 10.9 million barrels of oil per day (b/d), with unconventional shale responsible for 7.6 million b/d of that supply. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates that, earlier this year, the United States surpassed both the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil.

但这种“把他们逼到墙角”的策略失败了。截至去年8月,美国日均石油产量达到1090万桶,其中非传统的页岩油日产量为760万桶。美国能源情报署估计,今年早些时候,美国已经超过俄罗斯联邦和沙特阿拉伯王国,成为世界上最大的原油生产国。

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As usual, OPEC members quarrel with one another about production levels and price targets. The so-called ‘price-hawks’ (notably Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela) want the 1.8 million b/d production cut to which the cartel agreed back in November 2017. Others, fiscally less desperate, take a market-protection stance, arguing for production increases to prevent a collapse in demand, which would slap down prices again. One thing that all members can agree on, however, is that America’s unconventional producers are encroaching on OPEC market share in Europe and in Asia.

和往常一样,石油输出国组织成员国就产量水平和价格目标争吵不休。所谓的“价格鹰派”(尤其是伊拉克、伊朗和委内瑞拉)希望每天减产180万桶,而石油输出国组织早在2017年11月就已同意这一减产幅度。另一些在财政上不那么绝望的国家则采取市场?;ち⒊?,主张增加产量以防止需求崩溃,这将再次压低价格。然而,所有成员国都同意的一点是,美国的非传统石油生产商正在蚕食石油输出国组织在欧洲和亚洲的市场份额。

Russia and Saudi Arabia – representing two of the world’s three most prolific energy producers – now face a decision: should they double-down on a cut-price assault on North American shale, or, can they learn to live or even work with this new fixture of the global energy landscape?

俄罗斯和沙特阿拉伯——它们代表着世界上最多产的三个能源生产国中的两个——现在面临着一个决定:它们是应该加大对北美页岩油气降价攻击的力度,还是应该学会适应甚至屈服于全球能源的新格局?

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And while Russia and Saudi Arabia share few geostrategic goals, the advantages of a collaborative supply-growth approach over the past 6 months were too many to ignore.

尽管俄罗斯和沙特阿拉伯在地缘战略上几乎没有什么共同目标,但过去6个月的合作供应增长的优势实在太大,以至于不容人们忽视。

Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom’s greatest geopolitical rival is Iran. With U.S. energy sanctions now back in effect, the regime is facing declining demand for its exports, which have fallen from a high of 2.7 million b/d in April to around 1.7 million b/d this month . By increasing output, the Saudis put a downward pressure on prices and helped to make up for the supply shortfall, thereby depriving the struggling Islamic Republic of much-needed energy revenues (and negotiating power).

沙特阿拉伯:沙特最大的地缘政治对手是伊朗。随着美国能源制裁措施的生效,伊朗政权正面临着对其出口产品需求的下降,从4月份每日270万桶的高点降至本月的每日170万桶左右。通过增加产量,沙特对油价施加了下行压力,并帮助弥补了供应不足,从而剥夺了这个陷入困境的伊斯兰共和国急需的能源收入(以及谈判权)。

Increased production also served to protect Saudi Arabia’s market share from competitors. While market rivals in North America and OPEC-Plus pump at full tilt, the Kingdom possess the largest spare capacity of any oil producing nation (purportedly capable of activating an additional 2 million b/d), meaning that every additional barrel of oil brought online displaces a barrel of competition.

增产还有助于?;ど程匕⒗氖谐》荻畈皇芫赫允值挠跋?。当北美的市场竞争对手和石油输出国组织+的油机全速运转时,沙特拥有所有产油国中最大的闲置产能(据称能够每天额外增加200万桶),这意味着每增加一桶石油就会取代一桶竞争对手的石油。

Finally, lower oil prices support the enduring Saudi goal of guaranteeing long-term oil demand. As prices and volatility increase, consumers move to electric and hybrid vehicles, and increase investment in renewable energy sources. A well-stocked global supply of oil defends against fuel switching, thereby prolonging the Kingdom’s economic future. Too far below $70/bbl and we may see the Saudis reverse course – cutting production to maintain the goldilocks price range. But for now increasing production has served them well.

最后,油价下跌支持了沙特确保长期石油需求的长期目标。随着价格和波动性的增加,消费者转向了电动和混合动力汽车,并增加了对可再生能源的投资。丰富的全球石油供应可以防止燃料选择方式上的转换,从而延长这个王国的经济前景。如果油价远低于每桶70美元,我们可能就会看到沙特改变方向——通过减产以维持“金发女孩经济”价格区间。但是现在,增加产量对他们很有好处。

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The U.S. Position

美国的立场

The current U.S. administration aspires for high domestic energy revenues and lower global oil prices. This is a winning combination for both U.S. energy security and those running for re-election. Increased pressure on the oil-dependent Iranian economy is a significant added bonus.

当前的美国政府渴望获得高额的国内能源收入并降低全球油价。这对美国能源安全以及那些竞选连任的候选人来说都是一个双赢的组合。加大对依赖石油的伊朗经济的压力是一个巨大的额外好处。

From the Oval Office, this means encouraging private operators – to the extent they can -- to produce as much as possible, while demanding the same of influential petro-states. Responding to rising oil prices, Trump leveled frequent accusations and threats against ‘OPEC-Plus. The most recent diktat came last September, when he tweeted :
We protect the countries of the Middle East – they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!...The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”

在白宫看来,这意味着鼓励私营企业——在力所能及的范围内——尽可能多地生产油气,同时也要求有影响力的石油国家也这样做。面对不断上涨的油价,特朗普频频对“石油输出国组织+”提出指责和威胁。他最近一次提出苛刻条件是在去年9月,当时他在推特上写道:“我们?;ち酥卸摇绻挥形颐?,它们在很长一段时间内都不会安全,但它们仍在继续推动越来越高的油价!石油输出国组织的垄断者现在必须让油价降下来!”

Despite pumping a record 11 million b/d of crude (65% of which is onshore shale), the United States cannot unilaterally dictate global oil prices, particularly as mid-stream infrastructure constraints look to crimp shale growth. To achieve its goals, then, the administration must coerce or convince OPEC-Plus to play ball. Threats of dissolving U.S. defense ties and invoking NOPEC legislation suggest that this White House has, at least publicly, adopted a “Stick” approach thus far. But can there be a “Carrot?”

尽管美国的原油日产量达到了创纪录的1100万桶(其中65%是陆上页岩油),但美国不能单方面决定全球油价,尤其是在中游基础设施的限制可能阻碍页岩油产量增长的情况下。因此,为了实现其目标,政府必须强迫或说服石油输出国组织+参与其中。美国威胁要解除美国的防务关系,并诉诸反石油输出国组织的立法的作法表明,白宫迄今至少在公开场合采取了“大棒”策略。但会有“胡萝卜”吗?

A Russia-Saudi-U.S. Axis of Convenience?

一个俄罗斯-沙特-美国的权宜轴心?

Whether deliberate or inadvertent, a triangular interest-based understanding about production levels have emerged between the Saudis, Russians and the United States. Together, these three energy giants constitute 1/3 of global oil supplies, meaning that any joint effort to affect energy market outcomes will be consequential.

不管是有意的还是无意的,沙特、俄罗斯和美国之间已经形成了一种基于三方利益的对产量水平的谅解。这三个能源巨头加起来占据了全球石油供应的三分之一,这意味着,任何影响能源市场结果的共同努力都将带来重大后果。

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First, Saudi Arabia and Russia have demonstrated a willingness and perhaps even a preference for bilateral consultation about oil output, as opposed to at least the pretense of conferring with other OPEC-Plus producers. Market-moving power flows from these two petrostates, which between them control a quarter of total world oil production: Saudi (10.7 million b/d) and Russia (11.3 million b/d). Working together, neither needs backing from lesser producers, OPEC or non-OPEC.

首先,沙特阿拉伯和俄罗斯表现出就石油产量进行双边磋商,而不是至少假装与其他石油输出国组织成员国进行谈判的意愿甚至是倾向。推动市场的力量来自这两个石油国家,它们控制着世界石油总产量的四分之一:沙特(每日1070万桶)和俄罗斯(每日1130万桶)。如果它们携手合作,就不需要较小规模的产油国了——不管它们是石油输出国组织的成员国还是非石油输出国组织产油国。

Second, while hydrocarbon extraction from shale has brought enormous benefits for American energy security, fracking cannot insulate the U.S. from the vagaries of global energy markets. Trump’s appeal to OPEC to increase production and lower prices shows the persistent power of global oil producers. Shale does not confer energy autarky. In fact, its meteoric development also embeds us firmly in the world oil market, if only in ways that differ from earlier, import-dependent decades.

其次,虽然从页岩中提取油气为美国的能源安全带来了巨大的好处,但水力压裂法并不能让美国免受全球能源市场变幻莫测的影响。特朗普呼吁石油输出国组织增产和降低油价,显示出全球石油生产国的持久稳固的实力。页岩油气并不意味着能源自给自足。事实上,它的飞速发展也让我们牢牢地嵌入了世界石油市场,即便是以不同于几十年前依赖进口的方式。

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It may still seem far-fetched, but we may be witnessing the emergence of a new de facto cartel, one steered by the US shale energy advantage. Stay tuned to see how Russia, Saudi Arabia, and U.S. producers respond to stabilize an oil market headed back to the doldrums.

这似乎仍有些牵强,但我们可能正在见证一个新的事实上的卡特尔——一个由美国页岩能源优势主导的卡特尔——的出现。请继续关注俄罗斯、沙特阿拉伯和美国的石油生产商如何应对原油市场再度陷入低迷的局面。