OPEC + has yet to forge consensus on oil policy by 2021: sources

FILE PHOTO: The OPEC logo before an informal meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Algeria. September 27, 2016. REUTERS / Ramzi Boudina

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – OPEC and its allies, led by Russia, have yet to reach consensus on oil production policy for 2021, following an initial round of talks on Sunday and ahead of the decisive meetings of the Monday and Tuesday, four OPEC + sources told Reuters.

OPEC +, a grouping made up of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), plus Russia and others, planned to moderate production cuts starting in January 2021, but a second wave of coronavirus has reduced the demand for fuel around the world.

OPEC + is now considering extending existing cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day, or around 8% of global demand, in the first months of 2021, according to sources.

Preliminary consultations on Sunday among top ministers, including OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Russia, have not reached a consensus on the length of the extension.

Sources have said that talks were now focused on extending the cuts from three to four months, or a gradual increase in production. Ideas for deeper cuts or a six-month renewal were much less likely, according to sources.

“There is no consensus yet,” said one of the four sources.

A second source said: “There are many different ideas on the table (…) also a gradual increase (of production).”

The main meeting was expected to start at 1300 GMT on Monday.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai, Alex Lawler and Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Olesya Astakhova and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida

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