OPEC+ meeting postponed until Thursday to allow for further consultations

The United Arab Emirates would require that, before extending the production cut, all participating countries fully comply with their part of the commitment, while Russia prefers to gradually restore production from January
Atalayar_ OPEP reunión pospuesta

AFP/RYAD KRAMDI  -   The meeting of the ministers of the OPEC+ alliance has been postponed until Thursday

The meeting of the ministers of the OPEC+ alliance that was to be held this Tuesday has been postponed to Thursday in order to allow more consultations on the oil barrels they want to pump from 1 January, after the producers ended a telematic meeting on Monday without agreement.

Sources from the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan told Efe that the "participants in the negotiation process decided to postpone the OPEC+ meeting to day 3".

The ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed a telematic meeting on Monday, undecided, divided over the level of pumping that should take place from 2021, in the face of two divergent scenarios, one centred on the second wave of the pandemic and the other on vaccines against COVID-19.

A decision on this matter was to be taken this Tuesday with the OPEC+ alliance, made up of OPEC members and independent producers, but in view of the lack of consensus and a negotiation that was expected to be long and difficult, it was decided to wait until Thursday.

The markets expect that it will then be decided to maintain at least during the next quarter the cut in supplies of 7.7 million barrels per day (mbd) that has been in force since August and which would end on the 31st, according to an agreement sealed last April.

The pact aims to limit pumping for two years, with a staggered plan whose first phase (May to July) involved withdrawing 9.7 million barrels of gold from the market, nearly 10 percent of the world supply of "black gold", before moderating this cut to the current 7.7 million barrels.

From 1 January the third and final stage was envisaged: a new moderation, to 5.7 mbd, which de facto implies a partial increase in extractions, of 1.9 mbd, which would apply until April 2022.

According to the Iranian oil minister, Biyan Zanganeh, although "some members" were reluctant to continue with the current cutback, "there is a relative consensus within the OPEC" to extend its validity. He also pointed out that Russia and Kazakhstan have doubts and that, in particular, the latter prefers the increase that had been planned to come into effect, at least for the first three months.

On the other hand, "there is no consensus between the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Saudi Arabia", an OPEC source told the Russian agency TASS on Monday.

The UAE would demand that all participating countries fully comply with their part of the commitment before extending the cut, while Moscow prefers to gradually restore production from January and Riyadh insists on a three-month extension of current pumping restrictions.