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OPEC considers more productions cuts due to Coronavirus

OPEC considers more productions cuts due to Coronavirus

OPEC+'s technical committee, which includes OPEC members and its allies, including Russia, will hold a meeting today and tomorrow in Vienna to assess the impact of the Coronavirus on crude demand levels.

An OPEC source told Reuters that the oil cartel and Russia are considering holding a ministerial meeting on February 14 and 15, earlier than the scheduled meeting of March.

Informed sources said that OPEC and its allies are considering reducing their oil production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day due to the impact of the coronavirus on demand.

Allies are also discussing extending the cuts, and separate OPEC sources said last week that the group wanted to extend the restrictions until at least June.

Oil has fallen $10 per barrel this year to $56, below OPEC's level of budgetary control, as according to analysts and traders that the spread of the coronavirus in China could reduce oil demand by more than 250,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of this year.

Iran, an OPEC member, said earlier Monday that the spread of the virus had damaged oil demand and called for an effort to stabilize prices, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Russia said on Friday that it was ready to submit the OPEC+ meetings to February, as the country's approval is important because it is the largest producer from outside OPEC that cooperates with the organization.

OPEC+ had agreed in December to cut production by 1.7 million barrels per day until the end of March to support oil prices.

Crude oil prices have entered a bear market, which means falling more than 20 percent from a certain peak in specifically two months.

Meanwhile, Brent crude reached $54.87 per barrel, compared to the session’s open at $54.32 a barrel, while the highest level in the day was hit at $55.38 a barrel, to recover slightly after five consecutive sessions of decline.  

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at $50.85 per barrel, after opening at $49.91 per barrel, set for its fourth straight weekly decline.

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