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OPEC+ mulls largest cuts since 2020 pandemic crisis

October 3, 2022 at 2:37 pm

OPEC building [Zamoto Media/Facebook]

The OPEC+ group of oil producers is discussing output cuts of more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd), OPEC sources said, and voluntary cuts by individual members could come on top of that, making it the largest cut since 2020, Reuters reports.

The meeting will take place on 5 October against a backdrop of falling oil prices and months of severe market volatility which prompted top OPEC+ producer, Saudi Arabia, to say the group could cut production.

OPEC+, which combines OPEC countries and allies such as Russia, has refused to raise output to lower oil prices despite pressure from major consumers, including the United States, to help the global economy.

Prices have, nevertheless, fallen to below $90 per barrel from as high as $120 in recent months due to fears about the global economy and a rally in the US dollar after the Federal Reserve raised rates.

“It may be as significant as the April 2020 meeting,” the source said, referring to when OPEC+ agreed record supply cuts of around 10 million bpd, or 10 per cent of global supply, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand.

A significant production cut is poised to anger the United States, which has been putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to continue pumping more to help oil prices soften further and reduce revenues for Russia as the West seeks to punish Moscow for sending troops to Ukraine.

The West accuses Russia of invading Ukraine, but the Kremlin calls it a special military operation.

Saudi Arabia has not condemned Moscow’s actions, amid difficult relations with the administration of US President Joe Biden.

READ: Russia seen suggesting OPEC+ cuts oil output by 1m bpd