OPEC and allies led by Russia postponed talks on oil output policy for 2021 to Thursday, three sources said on Monday as key players still disagreed on how much oil they should pump amid weak demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia, and other allies, had been scheduled to hold its meeting on Tuesday at 1300 GMT.
The group had been due to ease existing production cuts by 2 million barrels per day (BPD) from January. But with demand still under pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic, OPEC+ has been considering extending existing cuts of 7.7 million BPD, about 8% of global demand, into the first months of 2021, a position backed by Saudi Arabia, sources said.
After consultations on Sunday failed to reach an agreement, sources said Russia suggested that OPEC+ start increasing output by 0.5 million BPD each month from January.
Further complicating the picture, OPEC member, the United Arab Emirates, was also signaling it would be willing to support a rollover only if members improved compliance with cuts.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the OPEC meeting on Monday he would step down as a ministerial monitoring committee co-chair, three OPEC sources said. It was not clear why he was planning to do it.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said differences between Russia and OPEC were not as severe as in early 2020 when disagreements led to a collapse in talks and a surge in output.