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Will OPEC Increase Production?

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OPEC+ Plans To Meet More Frequently To Discuss Oil Market Balancing

OPEC+ will take a more hands-on approach to global oil markets now that it plans to meet more frequently, Bloomberg has reported, citing the leaders of the group, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“We are meeting monthly because we believe that the market is still not recovered and is still extremely volatile,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister and former Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. “We need to adopt a hands-on approach and be able to react faster.”

This denser meeting schedule will also help OPEC+ get the upperhand in directing oil markets over speculators, according to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman.

“We are on the same page in our commitment,” bin Salman said following a meeting with Novak in Riyadh this weekend.

“This creates a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation among oil producing countries, at the ministerial and technical levels, in the interest of both oil producing and consuming nations, as well as the global economy,” the two officials said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Earlier this month, OPEC+ members agreed to start raising their combined oil production by half a million barrels daily from next month, to continue until April. This decision was widely seen as a compromise between the more aggressive backers of further deep cuts such as Saudi Arabia and those eager to restart production growth such as Iraq and Russia.

The cartel also agreed to meet monthly rather than once every quarter, to be able to react faster to changes in oil prices that need prompt action.

Despite the decision to add production to an already oversupplied market, the news about OPEC+’s decision was welcomed by traders, who were already optimistic about demand recovery thanks to positive vaccine news. Oil prices have recouped some of their losses since the start of the pandemic on that positive news and stayed higher even after OPEC revised down its demand forecast for 2021.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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