After weeks of disagreements, conflicting reports, and discussions about scheduling conflicts, OPEC has finally decided when it will hold its key meeting to decide whether to extend the oil production cuts beyond June—it is postponing the originally scheduled June 25-26 meeting with a week, to July 1 and 2.
According to the changed timeline of the upcoming events on OPEC’s website, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC)—which reviews market fundamentals and makes recommendations to the whole group—will meet on the morning on July 1. A full OPEC meeting will be held on the afternoon on the same day, while OPEC’s non-OPEC partners led by Russia will join the talks on the next day, on July 2.
While OPEC and Russia have been busy trying to assure the markets that they would be working to rebalance the oil market, reports started to emerge in the past few weeks that the parties couldn't even agree on whether to hold the meeting as originally scheduled on June 25-26 or to push it into July.
Reports had it that Russia had requested a delay of the June meeting into early July so that it would be held after the G20 summit in late June, while Iran, which is at odds with the Gulf Arab members of OPEC, has reportedly told the cartel that it wouldn’t agree to a postponement of the key meeting. Related: The Oil Price Risk Analysts Are Ignoring
Khalid al-Falih, the energy minister of OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, reiterated on Sunday his hope that the cartel would reach a deal to extend the cuts into the second half of the year at a meeting that will probably be held in the first week of July.
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Monday that the Islamic Republic “would confirm rescheduling of the upcoming OPEC meeting only if it was to be held on July 10, 11 or 12 from originally June 25.”
Zangeneh has said that he doesn’t want the date changed to July 3-4, as Russia had reportedly originally requested, because of scheduling conflicts.
The latest report before OPEC confirmed on its website today that the meeting is postponed to July 1-2 was that OPEC was discussing a proposal to delay the meeting to July 11 and 12.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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