At their latest meeting, the members of the OPEC+ group of countries have decided to stick with their existing plan to gradually increase oil production by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month.
With the global demand for oil rebounding and the price of Brent Crude recently rising above $80 per barrel, there have been some calls for oil production to increase more quickly. Oil prices have risen by more than 50% this year, and fears that high energy prices might hinder the economic recovery have led to big oil consumers like India and the United States calling for greater oil production.
Nevertheless, the OPEC+ group still sees grounds for caution. Alexander Novak, Russia’s Energy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said that he thought the markets were balanced at the moment, but:
“We will be monitoring the situation, as we know, demand usually falls in the fourth quarter.”
Reuters also quotes a source as saying that many members are hesitant to make any big moves due to uncertainty over possible coronavirus variants of concern. Ultimately, though, Rystad Energy commented that the decision is hardly surprising given that producers tend to like higher oil prices, even if they make consumers somewhat uncomfortable.
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