OPEC+ Moves Technical Meetings for Time to Review Market Rout


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(Bloomberg) — OPEC+ is moving two technical meetings to later this week after oil’s rout last Friday and to give its committees more time to evaluate the impact of a new strain of the coronavirus.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is moving its joint technical committee meeting to Wednesday, instead of the planned date Monday, according to delegates from some member countries. The joint ministerial monitoring committee, which comprises representatives of the broader group, will meet on Thursday instead of on Tuesday.

The OPEC and broader OPEC+ meetings will go ahead as planned on Wednesday and Thursday with ministers set to decide on whether to go ahead with planned output increases.

OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, joined with producers like Russia in slashing production last year as the coronavirus pulverized oil demand. OPEC+ has been gradually rolling back its output cuts and has agreed to increase output by 400,000 barrels a day each month. The group left itself the leeway to pause those increases in the case that factors like virus flare ups hurt demand.

The delay will allow time for the group to analyze the market after a more than 10% drop in prices Friday after the emergence of new Covid variant spooked traders, according to delegates with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified when discussing internal matters. OPEC will also weigh the potential impact of a planned release by the U.S. and other consuming nations of barrels for their stratetegic petroleum reserves.

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