OPEC Sees Weak Outlook for the Oil Market in 1H21 as Concerns of Covid-19 Variants Grow

OPEC Sees Weak Outlook for the Oil Market in 1H21 as Concerns of Covid-19 Variants Grow.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) expected the oil market to face a lot of downside risks in the first half of 2021 due to the blockades of social and economic activities in many countries and concerns of the emerging coronavirus variants.

 

Mohammad Barkindo, OPEC’s Secretary General, stated that amid promising signs, the outlook for the first half of 2021 is mixed and there are still many downside risks to balance due to blockades of social and economic activities still exist and people are very concerned about the emergence of the newly mutated viruses.

The secretary general said that the global economy was likely to rebound strongly in the second half of 2021, however, it could take years for other industries such as travel, tourism, leisure and hotels to reach pre-covid levels.

In December last year, OPEC + decided to increase production by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), much lower than its previous anticipation of hiking 2 million bpd. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, suggested in the last meeting for a more cautious approach at previous meetings, while the United Arab Emirates and Russia said that they want to accelerate production.

The group will meet with Russia and other allies on Monday to discuss production levels for February this year.

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