Opec weighs emergency response as oil slumps


  • Energy
  • Monday, 03 Feb 2020

Saudi Arabia has been pushing for days to bring forward a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to next month as prices tumbled to a six-month low

LONDON: Opec and its allies considered emergency measures as oil markets plunged on fears that Asia’s coronavirus will batter energy demand.

Saudi Arabia has been pushing for days to bring forward a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to next month as prices tumbled to a six-month low.

Russia, which had initially rebuffed that request, is now willing to hold the early meeting but Moscow said it wanted to keep monitoring the situation, Interfax news agency reported.

“In principle, we’re ready to react on such things. But for that we need to assess the situation more accurately, monitor how it will develop in coming days, ” Novak said last Friday.

Opecis considering a proposal to deepen current production curbs by about 500,000 barrels a day, though there’s no consensus on the idea yet, according to consultant Energy Aspects Ltd.

As the oil producer group and its partners, a 23-nation coalition known as OPEC+ have already made steep cutbacks recently, analysts have been skeptical on how much more they’re willing to do.

China is the oil market’s primary source of demand growth and measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus – including a lock-down in one of the country’s major cities and the unprecedented extension of the Lunar New Year holiday – could wipe out a big chunk of that additional consumption. —- Bloomberg

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