Crude oil steadied near the $48 per barrel mark on Friday, on hopes of tightening supply going forward. A panel of a group of leading oil producing countries, known as OPEC+, will hold informal online talks on Sunday – a day later than scheduled – prior to meetings planned for next week, news agency Reuters reported quoting a source with the knowledge of the matter. On Friday, Brent futures, the global benchmark for crude oil, spiked 0.79 per cent to $48.18 per barrel, whereas West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, the US benchmark, slid 0.39 per cent to $45.53 per barrel.
Brent crude moved within a range of more than $ per barrel on Friday, between $47.34 and $48.44 a barrel.
The talks had initially been scheduled for Saturday, according to a letter seen by Reuters and the source. The source said they will be now held on Sunday. No reason for the postponement has been given.
The OPEC+ group is debating whether to ease oil output cuts from January 1, as it previously agreed, or to continue producing at the same rate amid sluggish oil demand and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+) group will meet on November 30 and December 1 to decide output policy for next year.
The group was due to raise output by 2 million barrels per day in January – about 2 per cent of global consumption – as part of a steady easing of record supply cuts implemented this year.
At the current level, the crude oil has bounced back more than 60 per cent from the year’s lowest level, on account of the coronavirus pandemic which affected global demand for fuel.
Optimism around COVID-19 vaccines has helped oil prices recover some of the recent losses, in anticipation of reopening of major economies.