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OPEC, allies finalize next meeting for Apr 17-18 in Vienna: official

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – OPEC has finalized a date of its next full ministerial meeting, April 17 in Vienna, with Russia and nine other non-OPEC allies joining the talks the following day.

The OPEC gathering will be billed as an extraordinary meeting, an official with the organization told S&P Global Platts, adding that a regular meeting could still be held in its usual month of June.

The OPEC/non-OPEC coalition is expected to discuss whether to extend its 1.2 million b/d output cut agreement, which is set to expire at the end of June.

The extraordinary meeting is being called so that OPEC can more proactively respond to the market in deciding on the future of its supply agreement.

Sanctions waivers the US granted to eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil also expire in May, with the Trump administration yet to tip its hand on whether they will be extended, adding to OPEC’s motivation in moving up the meeting date.

The coalition is still finalizing the date of its monitoring committee meeting, but it will likely be March 17-18 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the official said.

The committee, composed of ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela and Algeria from OPEC and Russia and Oman from the non-OPEC nations, is tasked with assessing market conditions and tracking the group’s compliance with production quotas. Azerbaijan, a non-OPEC producer who is part of the coalition, would join the monitoring committee proceedings as host.

OPEC pumped 32.43 million b/d of crude in December, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC production, but the 11 members with quotas under the output cut deal would need to cut another 950,000 b/d to be in compliance. The deal exempts Iran, Libya and Venezuela.

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