Disagreements in Saudi Arabia over OPEC+ oil cuts strategy
OPEC and allies - known by the abbreviation "OPEC+ - drastically cut output to a record-low 9.7 million barrels a day or as little as 10% of global output on 12 April last year.
A Reuters source familiar with the situation said yesterday that the kingdom wants current cuts of 7 million barrels a day to be maintained into June. This already seems probable as far as May.
Four individuals at OPEC+ briefed the London-based news agency last week that pandemic restrictions would push the intergovernmental body in that direction when it decides on output this Thursday.
Saudi Arabia is also said to be preserving its own voluntary cuts programme, under which it reduces its output by a further million barrels per day.
"[The kingdom's leaders don't] see demand as yet strong enough and want[s] to prevent prices from falling," Reuters' source said.
However, there are signs of disagreement.
Another source told the financial information firm S&P Global that Riyadh has yet to adopt a formal view on continued oil cuts, stating that claims to the contrary "[have] no basis".
Saudi Arabia's ministry of energy did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
It has also been suggested that Moscow is likely to request a small output hike for itself while backing calls for general production cuts.
This follows an unforeseen move by the OPEC+ on 4 March, when Russia and Kazakhstan were previously given slight quota increases.
Whatever decision is made by Riyadh, Reuters suggests caution is required around Iran's growing oil exports and their influence on pricing.
Tehran has continued to avoid US sanctions by selling oil derivatives to the UAE and Egypt, among others.
The rivals have both been subject to growing oil-related tensions in the region in recent years.
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