The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC and its allies have held a virtual meeting on Tuesday as a rise in oil prices to their highest in almost a year masked persistent concerns about a recovery in oil demand.
The Joint Technical Committee met to review the demand outlook and countries’ compliance with agreed output cuts. A ministerial panel meets to review the market on Wednesday.
Oil, which hit historic lows last year as demand collapsed due to the pandemic, has rallied thanks to record OPEC+ output cuts.
On Tuesday, crude hit its highest level in almost a year at close to $58 a barrel.
“A positive start,” said one OPEC delegate. “The group wants a quick meeting with a positive agenda.”
However, there is concern about the pace of demand recovery.
An OPEC document prepared for the JTC and seen by Reuters lowered oil demand growth this year to 5.6 million barrels per day (bpd), 300,000 bpd less than OPEC’s most recently released estimate.
OPEC has cut the forecast repeatedly since last July as the impact of the pandemic lingers.
The JTC meeting and the ministerial meeting on Wednesday are not expected to recommend any adjustments to oil output policy, two OPEC sources said, according to Reuters.