Major oil producers to meet Saturday via video conference to discuss output cuts (update)

VIENNA (AFP): Top oil producing countries have decided to meet Saturday (June 6) via video conference instead of next week, a source close to OPEC said Friday, to assess their current agreement on output cuts amid the coronavirus crisis.

OPEC's 13 members led by Saudi Arabia and their ten allies, including Russia, had originally been due to meet June 9 and 10.

But Algeria, which currently chairs the Vienna-based organisation, proposed a change of date intended, according to analysts, to better synchronise the decisions of oil producers with the timing of transactions on the oil market.

The countries are discussing a deal agreed in April to cut output aimed at boosting oil prices, which have plummeted due to falling demand as countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

OPEC and the so-called OPEC+ members have pledged to cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day (mbd) from May 1 until the end of June.

Under the terms of the agreement, the historic cuts would be gradually relaxed from July with 7.7 mbd taken off the market from July to December.

OPEC and OPEC+ are set to discuss extending the 9.7 mbd beyond June though agreement could be difficult to reach.

April's deal was signed after days of wrangling between major players. - AFP
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