By Ahmad Ghaddar, Maha El Dahan and Alex Lawler
LONDON/DUBAI -OPEC+ sources said on Wednesday the producer alliance which includes Russia is likely to stick to its existing deal to gradually increase oil production, a view echoed by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo.
The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, were attending a joint technical committee meeting that advises OPEC+ on market fundamentals. The full ministerial meeting will take place on Thursday.
Barkindo encouraged OPEC+ members “to stay the course” regarding the group’s decision, according to an OPEC statement.
He also said that OPEC+ members should remain “vigilant and attentive to ever-changing market conditions”.
OPEC+ will likely stick to plans for a modest increase in oil output in May, several sources close to the talks told Reuters, despite a surge in prices due to the Ukraine crisis and calls from the United States and others for more supply.
OPEC+ has boosted output targets by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month since August 2021. From May 1, that monthly target increase will rise slightly to 432,000 bpd.
The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, key members of OPEC+, said on Tuesday the group should not engage in politics as pressure mounted on it to take action against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
“We urge global leaders to … once again ensure an unhindered, stable and secure flow of energy to the whole world,” Barkindo said in reference to recent market developments.
OPEC officials told the European Union that the bloc’s possible ban on oil from Russia would hurt consumers, OPEC sources said.
(Editing by Jason Neely and Paul Simao)