The Joint Technical Committee of the OPEC+ group, meeting before the regular OPEC meeting that is happening this week in Vienna, considered bigger oil production cuts—between 600,000 bpd and 1 million bpd, two Reuters sources said on Tuesday afternoon. The group ended up recommending additional cuts of at least 600,000 bpd.
But according to Energy Intel, OPEC+ ministers will not shake hands on a deal that involves increasing the production cuts.
“There will be no handshakes when ‘Opec-plus’ oil ministers meet, but delegates are hopeful a deal will be struck to counter the impact of the coronavirus.” FX Street reported on Tuesday afternoon, citing Energy Intel sources.
But that doesn’t mean a deal isn’t forthcoming.
Rather, the handshake is likely meant in the literal sense, due to the coronavirus safety precautions that will be present at the meeting. Media has been banned from the OPEC meetings on virus concerns, and ministers will undergo medical screenings as they enter the building.
In addition to the no-handshake safety precautions, a no-hugs policy has also been advised, according to an image of OPEC meeting signage posted by Bloomberg News Managing Editor for the Middle East and North Africa Nayla Razzouk.
As the coronavirus continues to claim new lives and new cases on a daily basis, OPEC and its allies are in search of a solution to the oil demand problem that has caused oil prices to fall to lows not seen in years.
The 600,000 bpd recommendation was to take place in the second quarter of the year.
OPEC President and Algerian Oil Minister Mohamed Arkab confirmed on Tuesday that OPEC discussions this week would be “new, substantial cuts” to oil production.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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