What impact will Opec's turnaround have?
After a long period of wrangling the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) have agreed to cut production by 700,000 barrels per day. The cartel's decision will mainly affect oil prices and the global power game in the energy sector, commentators conclude.
Ailing oil exporters breathe a sigh of relief
Higher oil prices should be welcomed even if they hamper Europe's economy, the taz writes:
“Many people will breathe a sigh of relief if the days of cheap oil are over: in particular those in hard-hit oil exporting countries, from Russia to Iraq to Brazil. Their states have been brought to the verge of collapse due to shrinking oil revenues. That has brought plundering and riots in Venezuela and misery in Nigeria. Even rich Saudi Arabia has been forced to consider alternative sources of revenue. ... And Europe? Here the motto is: the higher the price of oil, the more incentives for renewable energies. Even if low oil prices have somewhat revived the ailing economy. This stimulus will now come to an end sooner or later.”
Tehran and Riyadh united only by fear of losses
The Opec agreement ushers in a new phase in the geopolitcs of petroleum, Les Echos comments:
“The times when Opec could trigger global shocks like that in 1973 or counter-shocks like that in 1986 are long over. Not only energy saving measures have made it possible for certain importing countries to limit their dependency on the Middle East. Two other developments have had a major impact: Russia is now the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas, and thanks to the shale gas revolution the US is becoming more and more independent energy-wise. So these two powerful states can only rejoice over a rise in crude oil prices. The cards are being reshuffled in the global power game, and Tehran and Riyadh are united only by the fear of seeing the revenues in their petrol treasury shrink to nothing.”