OPEC+ debates whether to raise or freeze oil output as price recovers

March 4, 2021

DUBAI/MOSCOW (Mar 4) - OPEC, Russia and other oil producers meet on Thursday to decide whether to keep April output steady or increase it as they weigh a recent price rally against uncertainty about the economic recovery.

With oil above $60 a barrel, some analysts have predicted the OPEC+ group of producers will increase output by about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) and also expect Saudi Arabia to partially or fully end its voluntary reduction of 1 million bpd.

But three OPEC+ sources said on Wednesday that some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries believe OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, should keep output unchanged.

They said it was not immediately clear whether Saudi Arabia would end its voluntary cuts or extend them.

OPEC+, whose ministers starts a meeting at 1300 GMT, have to determine whether an oil price surge from about $52 at the start of the year to more than $67 in late February warrants a production hike or whether the coronavirus crisis could deliver yet another blow to the global economy and demand for fuel.

Russia has been insisting on raising output to avoid prices spiking any further and lending support to shale oil output from the United States, which is not part of OPEC+.


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