OPEC+ unlikely to change output policy before June meeting

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 10:18 AM

By Alex Lawler, Ahmad Ghaddar and Maha El Dahan

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – OPEC+ is unlikely to make any oil output policy changes until a full ministerial gathering in June, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters ahead of next week’s gathering of ministers that is not expected to make any policy recommendations.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, will hold an online joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting (JMMC) on April 3 to review the market and members’ implementation of output cuts.

The sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly, said they did not expect action until June and the April meeting could be swift and straightforward.

OPEC and the Saudi Energy Ministry did not respond immediately to emailed requests for comment.

Already, OPEC+ members led by Saudi Arabia and Russia early this month agreed to extend voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to the end of the second quarter to support the market.

So far this year, international oil prices have been strong, with Brent holding above $86 a barrel on Tuesday, up from lows just above $70 hit late last year.

This year’s strength has resulted from concerns in the market of supply disruption because of war in the Middle East and attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, though economic uncertainty and increased supplies from beyond OPEC+ have limited further rises.

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.

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.

(Additional reporting by Olesya Astakhova, Editing by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Barbara Lewis)