LONDON/DUBAI/MOSCOW: A committee of OPEC+ ministers on Thursday is not expected to make any recommendations to change the group’s production policy, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters.

Leading ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, led by Russia, known as OPEC+, will meet online at 11:00 GMT on Thursday.

The panel, named the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), can call for a full OPEC+ meeting or make recommendations on policy.

The sources, who declined to be identified, said the meeting would not bring any surprises.

OPEC+, however, will soon have to decide whether to extend 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of voluntary oil production cuts announced last November that expire at the end of March. Two of the sources said that discussions on extending or unwinding the voluntary cuts had yet to begin.

Saudi Arabia alone accounts for nearly half of those cuts at 1 million bpd.

If these cuts are unwound, OPEC+ would begin to return 2.2 million bpd to the market from the beginning of April.

This would leave 3.66 million bpd of output cuts agreed earlier in place.

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Riyadh has said that the cuts could continue beyond the first quarter if needed. Previous decisions to extend voluntary cuts have been made at least a month before the month of implementation.

The Saudi government, in a surprise announcement this week, ordered state oil company Aramco to halt its oil expansion plan and to target a maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million bpd, 1 million bpd below a target announced in 2020.

Brent crude prices have closed above $80 a barrel since Jan. 24, buoyed by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is participating in the meeting, said on Wednesday oil prices did not reflect the fundamentals of the market.

The JMMC usually meets every two months and brings together leading countries within the alliance, including Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.


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