The world worries about an energy crisis - and the oil countries keep turning off the oil tap.

For the first time since the pandemic, the representatives of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC plus) met again physically and not just virtually in Vienna on Wednesday.

Also present was Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

The result was a cut in oil production for the month of November by two million barrels (barrels of 159 liters) per day.

This is the sharpest production cut since spring 2020, when oil countries responded to the corona pandemic with a cut of 10 million barrels a day.

Christian Siedenbiedel

Editor in Business.

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It remained somewhat unclear to what extent the fact that many oil states are currently producing less than the agreed quotas would actually allow them would affect the effect of the decision.

It was said that Russia would not have to make any cuts, that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq should mainly reduce production.

According to an initial assessment by oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo from UBS, the "effective cuts" should be around 800,000 to 900,000 barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Abdulasis bin Salman said the actual cut could be between 1 and 1.1 million barrels a day.

At the beginning of September, the oil states had already decided to cut oil production by 100,000 barrels a day in October.

However, the effect on the oil price fizzled out again relatively quickly in view of recession worries.

"Last month's warning shot fell on deaf ears," commented Craig Erlam of trading platform Oanda.

But now the oil states are obviously getting serious.

The analysts at Commerzbank spoke of a "reaction to the sharp fall in prices in recent months".

The oil states were apparently not impressed by the United States' request to turn on the oil tap.

The price of oil had already risen noticeably on Monday and Tuesday when speculation about the plans of the oil states made the rounds.

It fluctuated on Wednesday, temporarily reaching $93.80 after the OPEC Plus meeting - about $6 up from Friday.

Is heating oil getting more expensive?

An intriguing question: Is heating oil becoming even more expensive in Germany, as is expected with natural gas for heating and is to be cushioned by political intervention?

Recently, 100 liters of heating oil cost around 160 euros, as reported by the internet portal Heizoel24, to which 500 oil dealers report their prices.

That was about ten percent less than the price peak in August - but significantly more than anything that was ever asked for before the Ukraine war.

Oliver Klapschus, the head of the comparison portal, reports that the demand for heating oil probably reached its preliminary seasonal peak in September: "Based on the current level, we expect a volatile sideways trend for the heating oil price in winter," he said: "With state aid as in the Gas, in the form of a price cap or reduced VAT, is not to be expected as far as we know.”

However, heating oil customers have the big plus of security of supply: “Anyone who has a full tank now can look forward to the winter calmly.” The price level for heating oil can also be seen in comparison, said Klapschus: The current average price of 1.60 euros per liter means converted around 16 cents per kilowatt hour: "New contracts for natural gas are still being traded at around twice as much."

Super cheaper, diesel more expensive

The oil associations had recently reported that many companies that normally use natural gas in their production, but could also use heating oil, are now buying heating oil in order to protect themselves.

This is also driving up the prices for heating oil and the diesel fuel involved in production.

The ADAC car club reported on Wednesday in its weekly evaluation of the prices of more than 14,000 petrol stations that the average price for diesel had risen again to more than 2 euros per liter.

Within a week, the price of fuel had increased by 1.6 cents to 2.012 euros per liter.

Super E10, on the other hand, has become cheaper by a minimum of 0.2 cents to 1.878 euros per liter.

According to the ADAC, the monthly average for September was just a few cents below the historical record level.

The most expensive tank month of all time in Germany was March 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.

At that time, a liter of diesel cost an average of 2.14 euros, which was 6.2 cents more than now in September.

Some filling stations recently reported that the diesel fuel had temporarily run out;

However, the industry took the view that this was not a widespread phenomenon at the moment.

Heating oil and motor fuels played an important role in the inflation rate in Germany of 10 percent in September.

As can be seen from the figures for North Rhine-Westphalia that have already been published in more detail, the price of heating oil rose by 82.3 percent over the year;

Fuels became 27.5 percent more expensive, including diesel 42.8 percent.

The recently lower crude oil price had brought some relief – but the more expensive dollar had partially eaten this up, as Jörg Krämer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, calculates: “In dollar terms, the oil price has fallen by 25 percent since the high in March – in euros it is 20.5 percent.”