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LONDON/MOSCOW/DUBAI: OPEC+ oil producers on Thursday agreed to output cuts approaching 2 million barrels per day (bpd) for early next year led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut, delegates told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+, who pump more than 40% of the world’s oil, are holding a virtual meeting on Thursday to discuss 2024 output amid concerns the market faces a potential surplus.

Their output of some 43 million bpd already reflects cuts of about 5 million bpd aimed at supporting prices and stabilising the market.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters the latest agreement would involve cuts approaching 2 million bpd including Saudi Arabia extending a voluntary cut of 1 million bpd it has had in place since July.

Russia will cut 500,000 bpd and others will also contribute cuts, one source said.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 1.2% to above $84 a barrel at 1526 GMT on Thursday, on track for a third day of gains on expectations of fresh cuts from OPEC+.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Helima Croft earlier said that Saudi Arabia, which began its additional voluntary 1 million bpd in July, would not want to shoulder additional cuts alone.

“We could envision a scenario where Russia and Saudi Arabia roll over their cut through the first quarter of 2024 and assemble a coalition of the willing individual producers prepared to make voluntary adjustments,” she added.

The focus is on lower output with prices down from near $98 in late September and concerns brewing over weaker economic growth in 2024 and expectations of a supply surplus.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) this month forecast a slowdown in 2024 demand growth as “the last phase of the pandemic economic rebound dissipates and as advancing energy efficiency gains, expanding electric vehicle fleets and structural factors reassert themselves.”

Yet OPEC+ sources this week said discussions had been proving difficult, as evidenced by the group postponing their meeting which was scheduled for Nov. 26. Sources said the delay was sparked by disagreement over output quotas for African producers.

The OPEC+ meeting coincides with the opening of the United Nations’ COP28 climate summit being hosted by OPEC member the United Arab Emirates.

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