OPEC+ Ministers Adjourn Without Deal on February Production Levels

London, Jan 4 (AFP/APP): Members of the OPEC group of oil producers and their partners ended discussions on Monday without agreement on production levels for February, with talks expected to restart on Tuesday at 1430 GMT.

The OPEC+ ministerial meeting came after the Covid-19 pandemic tanked the market for crude in 2020. Despite a slight recovery of prices towards the end of last year, the 13 members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and their ten allies, led by Russia, are still suffering under a highly volatile market.

After their last videoconference summit, held from November 30 to December 3, the OPEC+ members agreed to raise production levels by half a million barrels per day in January. At the same meeting, OPEC+ agreed to meet at the beginning of each month to decide on any adjustments to production volumes for the following month. That agreement “paved the way for a gradual return of 2 million barrels per day to the market over the coming months,”

OPEC’s general secretary, Mohammed Barkindo, said on Sunday. Speaking at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told his counterparts that “as we see light at the end of the tunnel, we must at all costs avoid the temptation to slacken off in our resolve”. At the risk of being seen as a “killjoy”, he emphasised continuing uncertainty and fragile demand and urged others:

“Do not put at risk all that we have achieved for the sake of an instant but illusionary benefit.”

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