The eyes of the oil industry are fixed on Vienna, where OPEC representatives meet today to try to reach an accord capping crude oil production quotas in hopes of taming a global over-supply that has tamped down oil prices. Base oils are doubtlessly far from the minds of those meeting, but base oil suppliers hope that stronger crude would allow them to raise their own prices.
Prospects for an agreement are buoyed by an informal concession by Russia, the largest crude supplier outside OPEC, to limit its production, along with reports of lower inventories in the United States. But OPECs two largest producers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, have yet to find common ground, and as Iraq is siding with Iran, a meaningful agreement is difficult to imagine.
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