OPEC+’s decision this week to stick to its planned increase in oil output for February reflects easing concern of a big surplus in the first quarter, as well as a wish to provide consistent guidance to the market, sources and analysts said.
The United States has urged the group to pump more crude to help the global economic recovery from the pandemic and cool prices as they trade around $80 a barrel. But OPEC+ has said the market did not require extra oil.
While still a surplus, this is much less than initially feared. In December, OPEC+ internal figures had put January’s surplus at 2 million bpd, increasing to three million bpd in February, making it riskier to add more supply.