OPEC+ committee meeting keeps oil output policy unchanged

OPEC+ committee meeting keeps oil output policy unchanged
# 01 February 2024 16:33 (UTC +04:00)

A committee of OPEC+ ministers proposed no changes to the group's oil output plans at a meeting on Thursday, APA reports.

Leading ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, led by Russia, known as OPEC+, met online to discuss market fundamentals.

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

"The JMMC reviewed the crude oil production data for the months of November and December 2023 and noted the high conformity for participating OPEC and non-OPEC countries," OPEC said in a statement issued after the meeting.

OPEC+, however, will soon have to decide whether to extend 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of voluntary oil output cuts which expire at the end of March.

Two sources had previously 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 in place 3.66 million bpd of output cuts agreed earlier.

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 their implementation.

The Saudi government, in a surprise announcement this week, ordered state oil company Aramco to halt its oil capacity 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.

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

It will meet next on April 3, the statement added.

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