Market Overview

Major oil producers to review supply cuts in critical OPEC meeting

A group of some of the world’s most powerful oil-producing nations on Thursday will discuss the next phase of production policy amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Ministers representing OPEC and non-OPEC partners, an energy alliance sometimes referred to as OPEC+, have convened via videoconference to determine whether to lift crude production or keep it steady. A press conference is scheduled to take place following the conclusion of the meeting.

Analysts broadly expect OPEC+ to reverse some of the output cuts it made last year, although oil prices climbed higher on speculation that the group may decide against increasing supply. International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $65.33 a barrel during early afternoon deals, up around 2%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures stood at $62.48, around 1.9% higher.

Crude futures have soared to pre-virus levels in recent weeks, driven higher by substantial OPEC+ production cuts and the mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in many high-income countries. OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia has publicly encouraged allied partners to remain “extremely cautious” on production policy, warning the group against complacency as it seeks to ensure a full oil market recovery. Non-OPEC leader Russia, meanwhile, has indicated it wants to push ahead with a supply increase, claiming last month that the market has already balanced. Energy analysts told CNBC earlier this week they expect OPEC+ to discuss allowing as much as 1.3 million barrels per day back into the market for April and perhaps beyond.

Major oil producers to review supply cuts in critical OPEC meeting, CNBC, Mar 4

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