OPEC Says Spike In COVID-19 Affecting Market Stability 

Yemisi Izuora

Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo, said on Monday that oil market recovery may take longer than expected as coronavirus inflections rise around the world.

Barkindo, however assured the OPEC and its allies would “stay the course” in balancing the market.

The OPEC and allies including Russia made a record oil output cut in April as the pandemic hit demand. They are scheduled to increase output in January as part of a gradual easing of supply curbs.

Barkindo, asked at the virtual India Energy Forum by CERAWeek if the second wave of the virus required any changes to OPEC+ strategy, said hopes earlier this year of a demand rebound had been disappointed.

“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.

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

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