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OPEC Says Perfectly Happy With $120 Oil, Does Not Think It Will Impair Growth

Tyler Durden's picture


Even as gas continues to creep ever higher, removing substantial marginal purchasing capacity from the US consumer, a topic beaten to death previously, the oil exporting cartel remembers that in a world strapped for energy, oil prices can and will be quite sticky. Which is why now that OPEC has had its refreshed taste for $120 brent after a three year hiatus, it will most certainly not let the price of crude drop into double digit territory absent another massive deflationary shock a la the fall of 2008. To wit, OPEC has just announced that $120 oil is an acceptable level and will "not hinder global growth." Funny - if one pulls OPEC press releases from the summer of 2008, the cartel used verbatim words to describe $150 oil, and its impact on the world economy. Then again, as Dallas Fed's Fisher pointed out earlier today, commodities are now exposed to the same excess liquidity bubble that took crude to its all time highs. We expect nothing less this time around, especially now that for some inexplicable reason, the world believes that the Fukushima situation is contained and thus the "demand destruction" part of the equation can fall out.

From Reuters:

OPEC believes the oil price is approaching $120 per barrel but unlikely to go higher, a level that is "acceptable" and will not hinder global growth, Iraqi oil minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi said on Tuesday.

"Global oil prices are moving towards $120 a barrel. We consider this an acceptable price that will not harm global growth," Luaibi told a news conference in Baghdad. "We think the price will not exceed $120 per barrel."

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, with Brent crude falling below $115 a barrel as investors betting prices would rise with Western involvement in Libya took profits in anticipation of a slowdown in air strikes.


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | Link to Comment strenue
strenue's picture

This is deflationary, right?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

no, but it is bullish.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:27 | Link to Comment Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

This is bullish for rappers that light their cigars with $100 bills.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:33 | Link to Comment Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

I for one am looking forward to 'making it rain' when I'm buying my morning coffee at DunkinDonuts.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:30 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

All those dollar bills have to go somewhere. What better way to soak up liquidity?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:42 | Link to Comment bankrupt JPM bu...
bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

I need an all electric Tesla.  If anyone selling please PM me.  Oh and buy some USO calls.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:23 | Link to Comment uformula
uformula's picture

Not right now, but it will be when the recovery is derailed.  Deflation will be the concern in the quarters ahead. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I wonder if they would still be happy if oil goes to 200$...




Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:59 | Link to Comment Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Yep, a grand's always a nice round number...

We like round numbers, keeps the maths easy...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:05 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Luaibiwa was then asked about $134.78 per barrel oil, to whince he replied:

Now you're being fucking ridiculous, STFU noob.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:30 | Link to Comment schoolsout
schoolsout's picture

that made me chuckle

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | Link to Comment X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

This just shows all the wealth effecting is working.  USO holders feel wealthier and are therefore more likely to buy iPads.


Inflation is good for sheep.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:01 | Link to Comment Creed
Creed's picture

Opec was fine with $100 oil, now it's fine with $120 oil, up 20%


dollar is 17% lower then it was last year


sounds fair

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

It's only a matter of time before the exchanges start moving the goal posts i.e. margin requirements.

Volatility tug-of-war, baby

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:03 | Link to Comment CPL
CPL's picture

I mentioned that yesterday on the morning open that the figures were off by ten bucks.  The Analysts were happy to think 110 was a "good" range whatever the fuck that means anymore.

I mentioned 120 and here it is.

Tyler is correct though, since inflation the true valuation of what that oil will cost in real terms is 150 adjusted over the last five years.  140 per barrel was cheap in 2008.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:01 | Link to Comment The Aviator
The Aviator's picture

This is awesome! Comeon guys, this can work, lets take it viral!

Crash JP Morgan, Charge Silver!
(With a JP Chase Freedom 0% APR card!)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:32 | Link to Comment Triggernometry
Triggernometry's picture

Exactly! I got a chase freedom card in december just for purchasing silver, they gave me a limit of $2500. Peanuts. I've maxed it out monthly buying silver.

My only regret was not starting in august, but at least I have another couple months of 0% silver purchasing power.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:01 | Link to Comment Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Tired of getting bent over and not being able to do anything about it?

Watch this:
Join here:

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:12 | Link to Comment X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

I object to this movement.  Passive non-violence and civil disobedience has not produced any gains.

It didn't end racism or Vietnam in the 60's and it won't end economic repression today.  MENA has proven that violent uprisings produce change... Whether the change will ultimately be good is yet to be seen.

I, for one, am willing to roll the dice on burning it down and seeing what happens.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:24 | Link to Comment Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Latch on, leverage existing infrastructure, do as see fit (not an endorsement)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:42 | Link to Comment X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

Not saying its a bad idea.  Just severely limited in terms of producing a lasting result.  The problem is that it gets the people who are motivated to do something thinking that they did do something, if that makes sense.

Yet even the most disruptive protests in the 1960's did little to bring about change.  Wars raged on, racism merely changed its tone, the elites continue to pillage the poor.  The folks that were up in arms in the 60's were pacified by decades of debt fueled wealth effecting.

The multi-decade demand gap couldn't be sustainable and the system crashed... except, we have been rendered so impotent that we allowed ourselves to be convinced that the way out was one big massive transfer payment to the ruling class.  We are so impotent, the people don't even know they have been fleeced and this system will never change until the sheep awaken to that sad fact. 

I only hope that we won't have been rendered so fat and stupid by that point that we won't be able to fit our fat fingers in the trigger wells, or know which end of the rifle to point at a target.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:12 | Link to Comment Idiot Savant
Idiot Savant's picture

Rifles against drones, tanks, FLIR equipped helicopters, etc.? Ask the Libyan rebels how it worked for them...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:19 | Link to Comment X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

Surprisingly well against a government all but certain to use all of its millitary force against an uprising.  Developed countries would never have the will to use extensive millitary force against its own civilian population.

More over, as quoted on here recently:

"Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to a moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." - Winston Churchill

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:27 | Link to Comment NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Developed countries would never have the will to use extensive millitary force against its own civilian population.

That's why they have NATO and UN troops.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:02 | Link to Comment malikai
malikai's picture

OPEC: We consider $5,000/bbl crude to be acceptable and will not hinder /our/ growth.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:08 | Link to Comment Shocker
Shocker's picture

Oil prices could be $50 a barrel and that will only save about .05 cents off a gallon.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:13 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Oh my goodness.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:11 | Link to Comment VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

Care to elaborate?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:10 | Link to Comment VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

BTW, 0.05 cents is 1/20 of 1 cent.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:06 | Link to Comment johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture

$120 barrel of oil should equate perfectly to $120 barrel of wheat

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:10 | Link to Comment mirac
mirac's picture

The military industrial complex MUST get paid for its F-18's they sold the Saudi

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:10 | Link to Comment chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

Some of us old energy traders have known for quite awhile

that Saudi Arabia has no spare capacity.

Now, finally, a few more of y'all may figure it out ....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Matt Simmons basically agreed in his 2006 book "Twilight in the Desert".

How convenient he had a heart attack.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:44 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

we've been at peak since about 2005

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:10 | Link to Comment lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

"contained" like "sexual relations" is clearly open to interpretation.

Liars and cheats, talking their own book. What were the odds?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:15 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Oil started the 70's at 4 bucks, rose to 40, then settled at 20, for a 5-bagger.  In USD terms, what we are facing is, in the BEST case, "the 70's plus."  $200 to $300 oil is coming.  This is if Bernanke succeeds in reinflating the U.S. economy.  Worst case, of course, is a USD collapse, and then price becomes meaningless. 

Given the war on energy production that is in progress, even domestic energy sources are going to skyrocket in price.  Isn't that obvious now?

Thinking seriously about buying a Prius.  Actively updating HVAC equipment at the house.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:13 | Link to Comment VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

Your post was good until the last two sentences. You really think a Prius is going to do you any good? lol

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:22 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

And your suggestion is...?  Do you know what I'm driving now?  Do you know how many miles I drive?  Do you know if my miles are deductible?  Do you know what my income level is and my ability to continue buying gas?  Do you know what my current exposure is to rising energy costs?

Do you know anything at all?  Or are you just another internet big mouth?  And I don't think Bernanke is going to succeed in the long term.  But I count myself among the many who are amazed that the system has held together this long, and no longer rely on their ability to call the timing.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:32 | Link to Comment naughtius maximus
naughtius maximus's picture

Everyone said in 2008 that oil was going to $300 by the end of the year. People who are budgeted from paycheck to paycheck (about 50% of the workers in the USA) will not be able to afford that oil they way they normally consume it. They will: move, quit, car pool, or go postal. Demand destruction will mean price destruction just like before. I hope none of you are fools this time round. When every smuck you meet at work complains about the price of gas that is when the bottom will soon fall out. I've already sold my oil interests. I intend to scoop them all back up 15% off the bottom sometime in Novemeber.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:19 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Notice how I carefully avoided predicting a time frame?  Notice how, in my subsequent post, I marvelled at the inertia of the system and recognized I couldn't call the timing?  Notice how I also stated plainly that I knew perfectly well that Bernake wouldn't succeed?

I'm not trading oil, I'm insulating myself against the long term, before the real rush begins.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

That is very prudent.... I advise all my clients to purchase up front their energy use via PBT, HGT, SBR. Imagine having bought 1500 bbls at $35 and owning the cash flow in the form of a monthly check....12000 miles pa is equivalent 11 bbls of oil for 25 mpg..And likewise the Nat Gas you expect to use.. I have very happy clients who are insulated from energy costs....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:13 | Link to Comment user2011
user2011's picture

When will the OPEC openly accept gold or silver as payment for their products ?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

We'll pretend Middle East invasions are about humanitarian causes, and they'll pretend they can raise production in a meaningful manner.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:21 | Link to Comment bigking12345
bigking12345's picture

at least we kill them fast, they are killing us very slowly.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:28 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Great, we've got a bunch of camel jockeys now telling us whats an acceptable level of oil pricing. BRILLIANT!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:49 | Link to Comment Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

I know, especially when it's OUR OIL!!!!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:01 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I'm still sitting wondering how the hell they managed to talk the Opec nations into taking coloured pieces of paper with arbitrary nominal figures printed on them in exchange for arguably the most useful commodity on the planet.

Oh, I know; interest. Aka more coloured pieces of paper.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:34 | Link to Comment mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

"You tell the world you will only sell oil for American dollars.  And you get to keep your dictatorships -- gauranteed by American military power."

See?  It was still a precious metals backed system.  Except the metal was depleted uranium.


Fed delenda est.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:48 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


if history knows anything, we'll need an economy to keep that army thing going

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:30 | Link to Comment props2009
props2009's picture

BoJ says we are going to intervene again. Warns speculators to stay away.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:39 | Link to Comment John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

It makes one wonder why the US does not have a real energy policy that reduces our need for OPEC products.  Some elites in the US actually believe we should develop a middle class in other parts of the world at the expense of our own.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:02 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

A billionaire in Shanghai and Silicon Valley have more in common with each other than they do with their fellow citizenry.

Of this, I have little doubt.

Of all our modern structures, the nation-state is most likely to succumb to rupture.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:43 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

This very topic was the subject of a cover story in The Atlantic a couple months ago.

This isn't the cover story, but a follow-up on 'anxieties of the super-rich'...


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:47 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Just started reading it.  The money quote so far: "The lesson that Mammon is a false or inadequate god goes back a long way..."

The rich people I know are no happier than I.  They go on nicer trips, drive nicer vehicles, and travel much more extensively.  But they are no happier, and certainly are no more "satisfied."  And, they worry a lot more and have a much harder time with trust.  Much.  Harder.

From the article: "Most of the survey’s respondents are wealthy enough to ensure that in any catastrophe short of Armageddon, they will still be dining on Chateaubriand while the rest of us are spit-roasting rats over trash-can fires"

This is a canard, at least in America.  This kind of security does not exist, and certainly wouldn't exist in "any catastrophe short of Armageddon."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:57 | Link to Comment AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Fucking savages.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:26 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

A logistics tidbit to brighten days.

Suncor, the big oil sands producer in Canada, is scheduled to shut off 200-250K barrels per day of production starting in early May for planned periodic maintenance.  That will be offline about 6 weeks.

Springtime is the seasonal point for maintenance to take place in some North Sea production platforms, too.  They will reduce output for this.

With the Japan refineries down, get ready to burn more oil for shipping in gasoline, rather than crude, and diesel, to fuel the 15 zillion 0.5 mpg 400 horsepower bulldozers that will start consuming fuel every single hour of every single day -- to say nothing of the 15 zillion Honda gasoline power generators that will be littering neighborhoods there soon.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:25 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture


By "global growth", he means the global growth of the royal families' wealth in the Kingdom.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:41 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Impressive jam job keeping wholesale gasoline at $3.00.

So far.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:40 | Link to Comment belogical
belogical's picture

I was saying the same thing about gold and silver. The world won't blow up if we hit $2500 and $150

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:45 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Gold and silver don't ship calories for thousands of miles to 6.8 billion mouths waiting for them.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:14 | Link to Comment equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

In other words : " we have fuck all spare capacity to prevent higher prices so we are just gonna say higher prices are good for us"


Looking forward to the oscillating collapse. Demand destruction round II isnt far away.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:19 | Link to Comment tigersea
tigersea's picture

hey, you have to factor amount of money printed from QEs.

$120 now is just ~$60 in 07

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:56 | Link to Comment TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

On the news that OPEC doesn't think 120$ oil will impair growth, I am reminded of W.C. Fields in "It's a Gift" - When a small child dips Mr. Fields pocketwatch into molasses, his mother says "oh dear I hope its all right.' and Mr. Fields replies "Nonsense, how could you hurt a watch by dipping it in molasses?"

"Nonsense, how could you hurt an economy by raising the price of oil?"

One of Bill's best movies and at barely half an hour one of the shortest feature length movies, but in its brevity it truly paints the trials of the modern man.

Life insurance salesmen, real estate speculators, the life of a small business man, father and husband are all subjected to Mr. Fields sensibilities.


120$ oil - How could you hurt an economy with 120$ oil?

The trail of tears grows longer as this tragedy of errors progresses. I take solace in the fact that worst comes to worst, a perfectly drinkable moonshine can be made without a single drop of oil. With 120$ oil we will all soon have more time on our hands to learn real skills like how to make your own booze, since at these prices it will soon cost more to drive to the liquor store, than for the booze itself.


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