Oil: OPEC ready to react to the protracted health crisis

Posted on Nov 17, 2020 at 5:45 p.m.Updated Nov 17, 2020, 6:12 PM

The headache of the health crisis continues for oil-producing countries. The thirteen OPEC member countries and their ten Russian-led allies met by videoconference on Tuesday to decide what to do with the “second wave” of Covid-19, which has forced many countries to re-contain. The 23 allies will not make a formal decision until November 30, the date set for their next summit. The market expects them to renew their production reduction agreement. “We must be prepared to adjust the terms of our agreement if necessary”, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Tuesday.

The latest forecasts for oil consumption have been revised downwards to take into account the persistence of the epidemic. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts global demand to fall by 8.8 million barrels this year, about 9% less than in 2019. The recovery in demand in Asia and the prospect of ‘an effective vaccine will not suffice in the short term, underlines the IEA.

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