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OPEC+ discussing advancing meeting on oil production cuts to June 4

Highlights

Meeting had been scheduled for June 9-10

Earlier talks would aid July nominations

But May compliance data would not be available

London — OPEC+ ministers are considering moving up their meeting to June 4 instead of the previously scheduled June 9-10, so that July nominations can factor in any changes to oil production quotas, according to people familiar with the discussions.

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Holding the meeting that early would preclude any May production data from OPEC's six secondary sources, including S&P Global Platts, from factoring into a decision. But nominations for term volumes by Saudi Arabia and other key OPEC members are typically announced by the first week of the preceding month.

OPEC, Russia and nine other allies are concluding the first month of their historic accord, which calls for 9.7 million b/d in production cuts for May and June, easing to 7.7 million b/d for the second half of the year, and then 5.8 million b/d for January 2021 through April 2022.

But with the outlook for the oil market still uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on the global economy, some members are suggesting that the 9.7 million b/d in cuts could be extended beyond June.

However, Russia, the key non-OPEC partner, has said it sees a balanced market by June or July, indicating potential reluctance to continue reining in output to that extent, though President Vladimir Putin earlier in the week held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and pledged "close coordination" between their respective energy ministers.

Since hitting a 21-year low in April, Dated Brent has more than doubled in value, as major consuming nations begin to ease lockdowns and producers reduce supplies.

In a letter Saturday to his OPEC+ counterparts seen by Platts, Algerian energy minister Mohamed Arkab, who holds OPEC's rotating presidency this year, asked for a decision by Sunday on pushing up the meeting date. He added that he had already discussed the idea with several ministers.

"We are waiting for ministers' confirmation," one delegate told Platts, but others said they were aware of the plan.

Under the proposal, the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee would meet later in June, after secondary source data becomes available. The JMMC is tasked with assessing market conditions and reviewing compliance with production quotas.