OPEC unlikely to change output policy at April 3 meeting
OPEC unlikely to change output policy at April 3 meeting

OPEC+ unlikely to change output policy at April 3 meeting

LONDON: An OPEC+ ministerial panel is unlikely to recommend any oil output policy changes at a meeting on Wednesday, five OPEC+ sources told Reuters, as oil prices hit their highest this year.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, will hold an online joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting (JMMC) on April 3 to review the market and members’ implementation of output cuts they have already agreed to extend.

Oil has rallied this year, underpinned by tighter supply and attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and war in the Middle East. Brent crude reached $89 a barrel on Tuesday, up from $77 at the end of 2023.

Two of the sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly, said they expected a straightforward meeting, citing the earlier decision to extend output cuts. The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Vienna time (1100 GMT).

OPEC+ members, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, last month agreed to extend voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to support the market. The cuts are voluntary in that they are not shared across all members of the group.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday Russia has decided to focus on reducing oil output rather than exports in the second quarter in order to evenly spread production cuts with other OPEC+ member countries.

When the voluntary curbs expire at the end of June, the total cuts by OPEC+ are set to decline to 3.66 million bpd as agreed in earlier steps starting in 2022.

The JMMC brings together leading OPEC+ countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

The panel usually meets every two months and can make recommendations to change policy that can then be discussed and ratified in a full ministerial meeting including all members. – Reuters

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