The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has advised member countries and its allies on the need to remain disciplined with their production to ensure full oil price recovery as the global economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo gave the warning at a delegate-level OPEC+ technical committee meeting on Tuesday, two days ahead of when ministers will convene online to decide on production levels for April and perhaps beyond.
Barkindo said OPEC’s analysts projected that global oil demand would grow by 5.8 million bpd in 2021 to reach 96 million bpd, compared to a pre-pandemic market of around 100 million bpd.
He added that global COVID-19 infections rose in the last week of February, indicating that the pandemic still posed downside risks to the economy and the distribution of vaccines, which favoured the world’s richer nations, would also lead to an uneven recovery.
Progress on COVID-19 vaccinations continues in many countries, but the current pace shows that many developing countries risk being left behind.
“We hold out hope that the multilateral and multiparty efforts will support inclusive and speedy worldwide access to inoculations,” he said.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday as signs of progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States, the world’s biggest consumer, raised demand expectations.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 15 cents to $59.90 a barrel on Wednesday morning, recovering from three days of losses while Brent crude futures rose 24 cents to $62.94 a barrel after four days of losses.