Ministers writing checks that OPEC can’t cash

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Surely the latest actions by OPEC in Algiers threatens the very core of the cartel, given its members have agreed to something that is going to be extremely difficult to follow through on. To coin a phrase (well, kind of) from Top Gun, the cartel’s oil ministers are writing checks that OPEC can’t cash.

OPEC is currently producing 33.237 mn bpd – nearly 750,000 bpd above their new production target of 32.5mn bpd. Granted, Saudi Arabia is set reduce production at this juncture, back-pedaling away from its summer peak of 10.6mn bpd, as the need for direct-burn power generation ebbs, but the best case scenario for this drop would be