DUBAI/MOSCOW/LONDON Saudi Arabia called on fellow OPEC+ members on Tuesday to be flexible in responding to oil market needs as it builds the case for a tighter oil production policy in 2021 to tackle weaker demand amid a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and others, is considering delaying a plan to boost output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), or 2 percent of global demand, in January to support the market.
“We as a group do not want to give the markets any excuse to react negatively,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at a virtual meeting of an OPEC+ panel, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC).
The JMMC, which can recommend policy to the broader group, made no formal recommendations on Tuesday, three OPEC+ sources said.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has indicated it wants a tighter policy in 2021 to draw down inventories still bulging since demand tumbled this year.
But other big producers, such as Iraq, have failed to deliver fully on promised cuts and have signaled they want some leeway to produce more oil next year.
“The markets will not be kind to those who do not stick to agreements. This is why we must be prepared to act according to the requirements of the market.
I recently said we must be ready to tweak the terms of our agreement if need be,” the Saudi minister said.