Oil prices rise as OPEC+ holds back on strategy for rest of 2021

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VIENNA  – Despite an expected rise in demand for oil, the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) are not giving hints as to their strategy for the second half of the year.

During an online meeting of the energy ministers on Tuesday (June 1), the oil producers only confirmed planned production increases until July.

Faced with an unchanged short-term strategy and lacking signals about future increases, the oil price rose.

Brent crude rose to  US$ 71.21 per barrel in the afternoon, US$ 1.89 more than on the previous day.

West Texas meanwhile rose by $2.3 to $68.62 per barrel.

OPEC+ consists of the OPEC countries plus cooperating states such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.

The alliance is currently facing conflicting pressures.

On the one hand, the demand for oil in large markets like the United States and China is improving, and there are also positive developments in Europe, said Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman.

“But there are still clouds on the horizon,” he said, adding that it remains to be seen if the market needed additional oil. “I will only believe it when I see it.”

Angolan Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo pointed out that coronavirus infections had recently risen in large countries like Brazil and India and that coronavirus variants could hamper economic recovery. Therefore, OPEC+ needed to remain flexible.

The next session of the energy ministers is scheduled for July 1.

-dpa

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