The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to maintain the current volume of cuts to oil produced by member states and Russian-led allies.

This is the view expressed by head of the International Energy Agency oil industry marketing division, Neil Atkinson, two days before meetings start in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Thursday.

“OPEC is quite likely to do what it has often done in the past: put off taking a decision which involves changing the current system until things become clearer,” Reuters quotes Atkinson as saying at an event organised by S&P Global Platts in London.

OPEC and its Russian alliance known as OPEC Plus, had agreed this time last year to reduce the volume of oil supplied to the market by 1.2m barrels daily.

The deal took effect from January 2019 with Nigeria and Iraq flouting their share of the cut regularly.

Atkinson said press reports from Russia indicate an intent to maintain the status quo till there was some certainty in the supply and demand volumes in the first quarter of 2020.

He said, “The Russians, we understand from press reports, are keen at least on the political level not to change anything immediately.

“There’s a lot of uncertainties out there, not least the United States shale outlook, strength in demand, the overall economic outlook, all the rest of it, that more likely than not they will leave it in place and meet again in March.”

The Qatari Government left the OPEC earlier, saying it was a gas country and the oil bloc did not align with its vision.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration said it intends to grow oil production in the country to 3-3.5m by 20203.

While the alliance expects the country to produce 1.744m barrels daily, Nigeria’s budget is predicated on a production of 2.3m barrels daily.

It slightly reduced this figure to 2.18m barrels of petroleum daily in its 2020 spending intention.


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