OPEC+ talks focusing on deeper oil cut, sources say

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DUBAI/LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – OPEC+ talks on 2024 oil policy ahead of a Thursday ministerial meeting were focusing on an additional oil supply cut to support the market, although the details were yet to be agreed, sources close to the group said.

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Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+ pump around 43 million barrels per day, or over 40% of global supply. They already have supply cuts in place of about 5 million bpd, or about 5% of global demand.

Two OPEC+ sources said the group was discussing a deeper collective supply cut in the first quarter of which the exact duration and volume was not yet clear. One of them said OPEC+ may not be able to agree on this and it was possible the meeting could roll over existing policy.

The Wall Street Journal reported the new cut could be of as much as 1 million bpd, a figure that the Financial Times had also reported on Nov. 17.

On Tuesday, sources had said a further delay to Thursday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies was possible, although as of Wednesday evening the meeting looked set to go ahead as planned.

The meeting has already been delayed from Nov. 26. OPEC+ sources said this was because of a disagreement over output quotas for African producers, though sources have since said the group has largely resolved this issue.

The talks on African quotas come against a backdrop of the United Arab Emirates being allowed, as per OPEC+’s last agreement in June, to raise output in 2024.

Global benchmark Brent crude oil was up 1.3% and near $83 a barrel as of 1836 GMT on Wednesday . Prices have dropped from near $98 in late September, pressured by concerns about weaker economic growth and expectations of a supply surplus in 2024.

OPEC+ talks over production quotas have often been difficult in the past, most recently at their June meeting, which extended existing oil output cuts into 2024 and agreed the increase for the UAE because of its efforts to expand production capacity.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+ have already pledged total oil output cuts of about 5 million bpd in a series of steps that started in late 2022.

This includes Saudi Arabia’s additional voluntary production cut of 1 million bpd, which is due to expire at the end of December, and a Russian export cut of 300,000 bpd until the end of the year.

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