Opec-Plus Stays Course Despite War Effects

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Opec-plus has decided to keep its production policy unchanged despite early evidence that Western sanctions are disrupting Russian oil exports. This means the Saudi-Russian-led producer group will continue its plan to add 400,000 barrels per day each month in April. A statement released after this week's Opec-plus meeting said that current oil market fundamentals pointed to a "well-balanced market," adding that "current volatility is not caused by changes in market fundamentals but by current geopolitical developments." But the spike in benchmark Brent prices to a seven-year high of $118 per barrel and the possibility of sustained Russian export losses could put Opec-plus under greater pressure to act the next time it meets on Mar. 31. Opec has a long history of avoiding politics during its meetings, putting market management at the top of its priorities. During the ministerial meeting this week, which only lasted 13 minutes, no discussions were held about Russia's invasion of Ukraine or the spike in prices, which may threaten demand destruction. “When we hold our meetings we check politics at the door,” said an Opec-plus delegate. Russia has been a critical member, and the group is keen to remain united, having seen the benefits of its work since its inception in late 2016 in managing highly-volatile markets, including its historic response to the pandemic. Energy Intelligence understands that any talk of increasing production at this meeting or members seeking to take unilateral action to cool markets could have risked that unity.

Opec/Opec-Plus, Opec-Plus Supply , Oil Supply, Oil Inventories, Crude Oil, Oil Prices, Oil Demand, Ukraine Crisis
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