LONDON/MOSCOW: OPEC+ is expected to stick to its plans to increase output in February when it meets on Tuesday, seeing a mild and short-lived impact on demand from the Omicron coronavirus variant, three sources from the oil producer group told Reuters on Monday.

OPEC+, a grouping of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, has been gradually unwinding record oil production cuts of 10 million barrels per day (bpd), about 10% of global oil output, agreed in March 2020 to counter the hit to demand from the pandemic.

Current plans would see it raise its February production target by 400,000 bpd as it has done each month since August, when it began to unwind 5.8 million bpd of remaining cuts. By the end of January, the group is left with about 3.4 million bpd of cuts to unwind by the end of September, as per its July 2021 agreement.

OPEC meets today to discuss new top official

OPEC met on Monday and agreed to appoint Haitham al-Ghais, a former Kuwaiti governor to OPEC, as its new secretary general, to succeed Nigeria’s Mohammad Barkindo, according to an OPEC statement. Al-Ghais will take over the role on Aug. 1.

“I would like to offer my cordial congratulations to HE Haitham Al Ghais on his appointment, by acclamation, as the next Secretary General of OPEC,” said Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. The appointment by acclamation, a more informal process, was the idea of the Saudi energy minister, a source with knowledge of the matter said, and is a departure from a vote to find a consensus among all member states, which used to make electing secretary generals harder.

The appointment, early into a meeting lasting about an hour, contrasts with previous protracted elections when several countries sometimes nominated candidates. In a technical report seen by Reuters on Sunday, OPEC+ played down the impact on the oil market from the Omicron variant.

“The impact ... is expected to be mild and short-lived, as the world becomes better equipped to manage COVID-19 and its related challenges,” the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) report said.


Comments are closed.