Oil veteran Andy Hall said to brief OPEC on U.S. shale

By Wael Mahdi, Grant Smith and Angelina Rascouet on 11/21/2017

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Andy Hall, the veteran crude trader who closed his hedge fund this year, will brief OPEC officials on the outlook for U.S. shale oil, according to a copy of the agenda seen by Bloomberg News.

Hall, once known in the industry as “God” for his lucrative trades, will be among a number of speakers presenting at the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, according to the agenda. They also include a representative from Citigroup Inc. and a consultant for U.S. oil services company Schlumberger Ltd.

OPEC and Russia are leading a global alliance of producers this year in output cuts aimed at clearing a global glut created by American shale drillers. The coalition will meet next week and is expected to extend its agreement beyond March.

The magnitude of the U.S. shale boom, which the International Energy Agency believes will be the biggest oil and gas surge in history, has repeatedly wrong-footed OPEC. The cartel initially attempted to pressure its American rivals with lower prices, only to abandon the strategy as shale drillers adapted by cutting costs.

Hall closed his main hedge fund, Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II, after it lost almost 30% in the first half of the year. Previously a long-term bull, he told investors that the outlook for oil markets in 2018 had deteriorated and that divergent views on shale supply made it difficult to gauge long-term prices.

Hall and Astenbeck didn’t respond to emails outside of U.S. business hours seeking comment.

Hall shot to fame during the global financial crisis when Citigroup Inc. revealed that, in a single year, he pocketed $100 million trading oil for the U.S. bank. His career stretches back to the 1970s, and includes stints at BP Plc and trading house Phibro Energy Inc., where he was CEO.

Hall’s part of the discussion on Wednesday will focus on the financial side of the shale industry, such as the investment conditions and performance of companies.

The presentations aren’t the first time that OPEC has sought outside advice to understand the U.S. energy revolution.

In May, researcher IHS Market Ltd. delivered a presentation on the topic, along with Mark Papa, the CEO of Centennial Resource Development Inc. who is considered to be among the founders of the shale boom.

Crude output from the major U.S. shale plays will rise by 80,000 bpd to 6.17 MMbpd in December, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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