Rising Infections May Delay Oil Recovery, OPEC Chief Says

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The anticipation for global oil market recovery is seemed doused again as coronavirus infections rise around the world.

The Opec Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo on Monday said with the rise in coronavirus infections around the world, oil market recovery may take longer than expected.

The OPEC Chief however assured that OPEC and its allies would “stay the course” in balancing the market, Reuters said in a report on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia made a record oil output cut in April as the pandemic hit demand.

[Also Read] Oil Price Slips as New Lockdown Measures Threaten Demand Recovery

They are scheduled to increase output in January as part of a gradual easing of supply curbs.

Speaking during the virtual India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, Barkindo said that if the second wave of the virus required any changes to OPEC+ strategy, it may dash hopes built earlier this year of a demand rebound.

“We were hopeful the second half of 2020 would begin to see a recovery,” Barkindo said. “Unfortunately, both the economic growth and demand recovery remain anaemic at the moment due largely to the virus.”

“We remain cautiously optimistic that the recovery will continue. It may take longer, maybe at lower levels, but we are determined to stay the course,” Barkindo added.

[Also Read] NNPC Optimistic About a Quicker Economic Recovery

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking last Thursday, did not rule out extending the oil cuts for longer if market conditions warranted.

Barkindo said producers did not expect a renewed oil-price collapse as seen in the second quarter, when oil hit historic lows with U.S. crude briefly trading in negative territory.

OPEC+ producers had met an average of 100% of their supply cut commitments and would continue to implement the curbs so that inventories fall further, Barkindo said.

[Also Read] Oil prices rise in anticipation of OPEC+ extended output cuts

“We are determined to assist the market to restore stability by ensuring that the stock drawdowns continue.”

By Peace Obi with Agency Report

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