Russia projects OPEC+ will maintain oil price course at this week’s meeting

By Olga Tanas and Dina Khrennikova on 4/21/2021
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) --Next week’s OPEC+ meeting will most likely focus on assessing the current oil environment rather than on revising production targets as the market looks balanced so far, according to Russia, a leading member of the group.

“If nothing extraordinary happens, we have already formed our three-month plans,” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, “Our task will be to look at these plans and maybe confirm or adjust them - yet most likely, this is the meeting to assess the current situation,” he said.

Novak said he has not received any official proposal yet to downgrade the next OPEC+ gathering that would involve skipping the full ministerial meeting and holding discussions only within the joint ministerial monitoring committee. In any case, the JMMC will definitely take place, he said. Holding the JMMC meeting alone could indicate OPEC+ sees no need to revise the current output plan.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies earlier this month agreed to gradually raise production by more than 2 million barrels of crude per day between May and July as demand recovers from the impact of the pandemic. The hike includes a gradual return of 1 million barrels per day of the crude Saudi Arabia voluntarily cut earlier this year to balance the market.

The Brent benchmark has risen by more than a quarter this year as global vaccination efforts have paved the way for a relaxation of lockdowns, greater economic activity and increased mobility. However, surging cases in several major emerging markets, primarily India, are threatening a rebound in global consumption.

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