OPEC president says oil market is restoring balance, pandemic remains a threat, via Reuters

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© Reuters. OPEC president says oil market is restoring balance

LISBON (Reuters) – The head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Tuesday that the global oil market was restoring balance after a collapse in demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic was met with production restrictions by OPEC producers.

“Crude prices are relatively stable … We see a degree of balance between demand and supply,” OPEC President Diamantino Azevedo told Reuters in an interview.

“However, due to the pandemic situation that the world is going through and with the arrival of new waves, we may witness a situation in which the demand will decrease as a result of isolation measures. Demand will definitely increase with the vaccination of the world population with vaccines against Covid-19.”

OPEC and other major exporters such as Russia, as part of the OPEC + group, meet today and are expected to discuss allowing up to 1.5 million barrels per day to return to the market to match demand, which is likely to pick up later this year as the pace of vaccine programs accelerates.

But Azevedo, who is Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and holds the rotating presidency of OPEC, warned that any worsening of the pandemic could push producers to reduce production.

“The production levels that were desired at the time of the latest amendment may naturally be negatively affected by … the Covid-19 pandemic and its strains,” he said.

(Prepared by Mahmoud Salama for the Arabic Newsletter – Edited by Wagdy Al-Alfi)

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