Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) alliance has assured that it will ensure that oil prices do not plunge steeply again when it meets at the end of November to set policy.

OPEC’s Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, told Reuters on Thursday that demand has been recovering more slowly than expected.

“I want to assure you that the OPEC, non-OPEC partnership will continue to do what it knows best, by ensuring that we don’t relapse into this almost historic plunge that we saw,” Mohammad Barkindo said.

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The OPEC scribe was responding to queries at the Energy Intelligence Forum on whether there was room for a planned increase in oil output from January by OPEC+, a grouping that includes OPEC states, Russia and other allies.

“We have to be realistic that this recovery is not picking up pace at the rate that we expected earlier in the year,” he said. “Demand itself is still looking anaemic.”

A technical OPEC+ committee meeting is holding on Thursday to discuss compliance with oil cuts and market fundamentals. The group had 102% compliance with its cuts in September, two OPEC+ sources told Reuters.

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Countries such as Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, which had fallen short of their commitments, have been asked to make additional cuts until the end of the year to compensate for the shortfalls.

Barkindo said the compensation scheme was working well. OPEC+ is due to taper production cuts by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), from 7.7 million bpd currently, in January.

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Barkindo said when OPEC+ holds its ministerial meetings on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 it will take stock of the whole year to inform any decision to stay the course or amend its policy.

Last Tuesday, the energy minister from the United Arab Emirates told the same event that OPEC+ will stick to their plans to taper oil production cuts from January.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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