OPEC’s Saudi, UAE ministers discuss output deal adjustments

By Matthew Martin, Anthony Di Paola and Grant Smith on 11/9/2020

(Bloomberg) --OPEC+ ministers talked openly about the possibility of tweaking their oil-cuts deal, the latest signal that the group is reconsidering its January production hike.

While Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two core members of the cartel, didn’t commit to any policy changes before their Nov. 30 meeting, they reiterated their intention to respond proactively to changes in the market. Oil prices have dropped in the past month amid a second wave of coronavirus lockdowns, threatening to reverse the recovery in demand.

“With the consensus of everybody, we could navigate with this agreement and tweak this agreement, subject to what we may see in the future,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said at a virtual session of the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition and Conference on Monday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, which include Russia, are due to boost output next year, easing 7.7 million barrels of daily production cuts by almost 2 million barrels. They have the ability to change that plan if needed, but all members would have to agree, said UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

Algeria, which this year holds the OPEC presidency, said last week that both Saudi Arabia and Russia were pressing fellow members to prolong the current oil-supply cuts into next year, rather than tapering them as planned. Algeria supported the proposal, the first country to publicly do so.

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