Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

OPEC+ oil producers were split on Monday over increasing output from February as some feared a hit from new coronavirus lockdowns while Russia and Kazakhstan said demand recovery justified higher production, five OPEC+ sources said.

OPEC+, which groups OPEC and other producers including Russia, began meeting at around 1500 GMT on Monday.

Two OPEC+ sources told Reuters that in the meeting Russia and Kazakhstan backing raising production while Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates suggested holding output steady.

Story continues below advertisement

A day earlier OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo warned OPEC+ experts of downside risks facing the oil market.

On Monday, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said OPEC+ should be vigilant and cautious despite a generally optimistic market environment as demand for fuels remains fragile and the new variant of coronavirus is unpredictable.

“In many parts of the world, where infection rates have increased worryingly, a new wave of lockdowns and restrictions are being put in place, which will inevitably impact the rate of economic recovery in those countries,” he said.

The new variant of coronavirus, reported in Britain last month, is spreading globally and on Monday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was scheduled to set out tougher lockdown rules.

With benchmark Brent oil futures holding above $50 per barrel, OPEC+ took the opportunity this month to raise output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) as it looks to eventually undue cuts that currently stand at 7.2 million bpd.

OPEC+ producers have been curbing output to support prices and reduce oversupply since January 2017, and cuts a record 9.7 million bpd in mid-2020 as COVID-19 hammered demand for gasoline and aviation fuel.

In previous meetings de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia has repeatedly suggested a cautious approach to restoring output while non-OPEC member Russia has backed a speedier increase.

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said there were still loads of uncertainties in the oil market and OPEC+ should remain flexible in its decision-making.

Benchmark Brent prices rose above $53 per barrel on Monday, touching their highest levels since March 2020, but later fell.

“Under the current output terms, surpluses are expected from February until April, before demand recovers from May onwards, so a possible OPEC+ decision to not increase production will keep balances at a manageable level,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen from Rystad Energy.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies