OPEC, others to meet Sunday, may resolve output dispute

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies plan to convene on Sunday, three delegates said, as an impasse with the United Arab Emirates is close to being resolved, which could pave the way for an agreement to raise crude production in the months ahead.

The meeting is tentatively scheduled to start at noon Vienna time (1000 GMT), the delegates said, according to S&P Global Platts.

The UAE has been insisting on a higher output target, holding up for almost three weeks a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia and Russia for the OPEC+ alliance to raise output by 400,000 barrels per day each month to help relieve an oil market that has tightened significantly from strong seasonal demand and the continued recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in key economies. It would also extend the group’s supply management pact through the end of 2022.

Talks between Saudi Arabia and the UAE last week centered around a proposal to lift the UAE’s production baseline, from which its quota would be determined, from 3.18 million bpd to 3.65 million bpd.

Delegates said the final baseline could be lower.

The UAE had initially sought a baseline of about 3.80 million bpd, citing its increased production capacity, but rain into stiff opposition from Saudi Arabia, which wanted to hold the line on output targets.

Accommodating the UAE could encourage other countries to seek upward revisions of their targets, as well, a prospect that some delegates said could make it even harder to get a final deal.

Any OPEC+ agreement must be unanimously approved by all 23 countries.

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