IEA: Russia, U.S., Saudi Arabia Emerge as “Big Three” of Global Oil

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said in its latest report that the U.S. has growing influence on the global oil market, despite being left out from the big summit between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna last week, CNBC reports.

The agency also said American influence over oil markets is only going to get stronger.

“While the U.S. was not present in Vienna, nobody could ignore its growing influence,” the IEA said in its December report. “Last week’s meeting reminded us that the Big Three of oil – Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States – whose total liquids production now comprises about 40 percent of the global total, are the dominant players.”

The Paris-based IEA kept its 2019 forecast for global oil demand growth at 1.4 million barrels per day, unchanged from its projection last month, and said it expected growth of 1.3 million bpd this year.

According to the agency, the global oil market could move into deficit sooner than expected thanks to OPEC’s output agreement with Russia and to Canada’s decision to cut supply.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last week with Russia, Oman and other producers to cut oil output by 1.2 million bpd from January to stem a build-up in unused inventories of fuel.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized OPEC for its dominance over oil prices, at times asking (usually via Twitter) it to produce more oil and then telling the cartel to leave its production well alone. Iran joked last week that the U.S. wanted to join OPEC as it appeared keen to influence the meeting’s outcome.

The U.S. has become a dominant competitor in oil markets in its own right and has taken a place among the world’s largest oil producers, thanks to its shale oil revolution.