OPEC+ unlikely to change output policy at panel meeting

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By Alex Lawler, Ahmad Ghaddar and Maha El Dahan

LONDON (Reuters) – An OPEC+ ministerial panel is unlikely to recommend any oil output policy changes at a meeting later on Wednesday, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters, following the producers’ earlier decision to extend voluntary oil output cuts until June.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, is scheduled to hold an online joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting (JMMC) at 1100 GMT to review the market and members’ implementation of output cuts.

Oil has rallied this year, driven by tighter supply, attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and war in the Middle East. traded above $89 a barrel on Wednesday, up from $77 at the end of 2023.

Two of the three sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly, said they expected a straightforward meeting. Five other sources on Tuesday had a simliar view.

OPEC+ members, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, last month agreed to extend voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of June to support the market.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday Russia has decided to focus on reducing oil output rather than exports in the second quarter to evenly share production cuts with other OPEC+ member countries.

When the voluntary curbs expire at the end of June, the total cuts by OPEC+ are set to decline to 3.66 million bpd as agreed in earlier steps starting in 2022.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Crude oil tanker Nevskiy Prospect, owned by Russia's leading tanker group Sovcomflot, transits the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey September 6, 2020. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo

The JMMC brings together leading OPEC+ countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

The panel usually meets every two months and can make recommendations to change policy that can then be discussed and ratified in a full ministerial meeting including all members.