Russia to support further oil production rise from February

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman and Alexander Novak
OPEC's Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy and Co-Chair Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Russia, one of the major forces outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group is reportedly willing to support any further raise in OPEC+ production when the body would meet next month. 

Russia’s move comes at a time when a new strain of the coronavirus further elevates the concerns about sustained demand into the new year.

Authorities in Moscow see the rationale in raising the existing production by 500,000 barrels a day in February, a production arrangement that has already been agreed for January 2021.

The new proposition would be in line with the body’s decision in early December while any further increase in the output would require a consensus among the other members of the group.

Disruption by the new COVID-19 strain

Brent Crude, one of the leading benchmarks for purchases on global financial markets dropped below $50 a barrel earlier this week after the UK government introduced a full lockdown in London and the southeast of England as a more infectious strain of the coronavirus ran “out of control.”

Several nations across the globe, including in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have followed suit and have limited travel with the country. This new set of restrictions is expected to further dent the prospects of global oil consumption.

OPEC+, the intergovernmental organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies moved to a monthly schedule of meetings so that they can react swiftly to the ever-evolving market conditions.

While the global economy suffers another unexpected jolt with the new COVID-19 strain, Russia’s current stance indicates that it expects the market to absorb additional OPEC+ supply.