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Jan 02, 2021

As one of the most tumultuous years in oil’s history ends, a delicate task now confronts OPEC+.

The alliance of producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia must decide whether it can continue to restore crude supplies without capsizing the price recovery they spent most of 2020 working to achieve.
Moscow believes that the group -- which slashed output during the pandemic -- can revive another 500,000 barrels a day of idle capacity in February, on top of an increase scheduled for this month. Riyadh, which has favored greater caution, is keeping its own views under wraps.

“It feels like OPEC+ is trying to steer a giant oil tanker through a narrow straight,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich.
Whatever they ultimately decide, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners are leaving nothing to chance.

With its Jan. 4 gathering, the coalition is switching to meeting every month -- rather than just a few times a year -- in order to fine-tune production levels more precisely.

After the brutal lessons delivered over the past 12 months, the impulse to micro-manage is understandable. Read more