February 11, 2020

Oil producers recommend further output cut in reaction to coronavirus

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A group of major oil-producing countries on Monday called for a further reduction to their output until June amid the coronavirus fears.

The oil-producing countries while summing up their recent talks in Vienna, agreed that the coronavirus “is dampening global energy demand”.

A committee that advises the 14 members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 additional countries including Russia made the recommendation.

“A further adjustment in production until the end of the second quarter of 2020 on top of the production curbs that are already in place.’’

Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab, who currently serves as OPEC president added that the coronavirus epidemic was having a negative impact on economic activities.

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“The coronavirus epidemic is having a negative impact on economic activities, particularly on the transportation, tourism, and industry sectors, particularly in China, and also increasingly in the Asian region and gradually in the world,” he added.

Arkab said that he would consult with those among the 24 oil producers who are not part of the advisory committee that met last week in Vienna, in order to reach consensus on the way forward.

“The situation is clear. It requires corrective action in the interest of all,’’ Arkab stated.

The next decision-making meetings among OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers are scheduled on March 5 and 6 in Vienna.

Earlier, the benchmark U.S. oil price fell below 50 dollars per barrel for the first time in around a year, as markets were rattled by worries that the coronavirus could hurt global economic growth.