As we have previously discussed, OPEC has announced that it will reduce production outputs and oil prices are reflecting the deal. Oil prices are on rise – as I write this, Bloomberg Energy is reporting that WTI Crude Oil is up 2.11% to $50.82 per barrel and Brent Crude Oil is up 1.66% to $53.88 per barrel. Everyone is speaking in hushed tones, worried about jinxing their high hopes that the oil and gas industry may be bouncing back and rebalancing as a result of OPEC's planned production cuts.

There is a lot of speculation right now surrounding what could happen with prices and whether both OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries will actually abide by the deal to cut production.

However, like my great-grandma's (I called her Gigi, but her real name was Margaret) recipe for Potica (pronounced PO-teet-za – see footnote below), some things in life require patience. Following in the baking footsteps of my Gigi and my grandma, Carolee, this weekend in preparation for the holidays I baked my very first Potica and learned this lesson in patience first-hand.

I have watched my Grandma bake Potica my whole life, but I never really understood why she always fretted about whether it turned out or not. A lot rides on each year's Potica – my family eats loaves and loaves of the stuff, gobbling it up almost daily for the entire month of December. My Grandma gives the "pretty" loaves away all over town, not to mention the family tradition of living up to Gigi's legacy. My entire family is so proud when my grandma bakes Potica. The stakes are high with Potica.

Similarly, folks are fretting and speculating about how the OPEC deal is going to turn out.

Oil & Gas 360 published an article entitled, "OPEC Compliance Might Cause Global Crude Deficit in 2H 2017" stating "demand could outstrip supply in the back-half of next year, but only if OPEC and non-OPEC producers follow through on cuts." The article discusses in detail whether production cuts will actually happen or if the agreement was just a bunch of hullabaloo.

Reuters reported similar concerns in an article entitled, "Only Five non-OPEC Producers So Far Attending Talks to Widen Output Cut."

The Wall Street Journal article today entitled, "OPEC Deal Raises Hopes But Not Valuations for Troubled Oil Producers: Despite oil price rally, investors could still see their stakes disappear in Chapter 11 proceedings," provides that the production cuts will be too little too late.

Forbes published an article entitled, "Why OPEC's Announced Cuts Are a Really Big Deal," discussing how although some countries may not meet their reduced quotas, the announcement represents a strategic shift for OPEC and an attempt to "prop up crude oil prices."

Rather than fretting, speculating and worrying and feeling the pressure when the stakes are high, sometimes we have to just have the patience to see how it shakes out.

Like waiting for your dough to raise for Potica, there are times when you have to just wait and see if it is going to work, and this OPEC deal is one of those times.

* Potica is a European, traditionally Slovenian, bread/cake that has a walnut filling that is spiced with cinnamon.

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