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OPEC+ mulls oil production tweak amid COVID-19 resurgence

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Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Abdelaziz bin Salman, said on Tuesday the major oil countries might have to adapt their current production strategy in the face of the resurging COVID-19 pandemic.

Abdelaziz stated this while addressing his counterparts among the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a Russia-led group of allies, who were meeting online to review energy markets.

They also expected to discuss whether to raise oil output in January as agreed, or whether to postpone this step.

While there was good news of possible effective vaccines against the COVID-19, the Saudi minister said, a second pandemic wave and new health restrictions in some major markets showed that the virus could yet upset the global economic recovery.

“We must be ready to tweak the terms of our agreement,’’ he said.

The so-called OPEC+ started curbing output in May to bolster prices as the pandemic reduced oil demand.

READ ALSO: Oil prices jump on prospect of OPEC+ deal extension, Bonny Light up $1.17

The group’s plan foresees a gradual easing of the curbs at agreed intervals that are now being debated ahead of an OPEC+ ministerial meeting slated for November 30 and December 1.

The Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said the current measures are hurting demand less than earlier this year.

He, however, cautioned that the pandemic may lead to long-lasting changes that could affect oil demand, especially in the aviation industry that depends on the business travellers.

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