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Markets

OPEC+ expected to stay cautious in face of market jitters

  • In addition, Saudi Arabia has volunteered to cut its own output by one million barrels per day (bpd) to help avoid oversupplying a market suffering from a collapse in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Published April 1, 2021

LONDON: Oil producing countries grouped together under the OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia are expected to agree an extension to their current output cuts at a meeting on Thursday.

Their third ministerial meeting of 2021 will be held via videoconference and is scheduled to start at 1200 GMT.

"The producer alliance is virtually guaranteed to extend current oil cuts into May," according to Stephen Brennock of PVM, reflecting a widespread view among analysts.

"It may even go a step further and prolong supply curbs into June," he added, with the possibility that Russia and Kazakhstan may be given some small leeway to increase output as happened earlier in the year.

Under its current agreement, the OPEC+ group -- made up of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies -- is enforcing drastic cuts in production, meaning seven million barrels that could be shipped to markets every day are being left in the ground.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has volunteered to cut its own output by one million barrels per day (bpd) to help avoid oversupplying a market suffering from a collapse in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Without the cuts, limited storage capacity could be saturated and prices -- currently hovering around $60 per barrel -- could fall.

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