News. The regular monthly OPEC+ ministerial meeting will be held next week on Wednesday, February 2.
Commentary. In all likelihood, the ministerial meeting will decide to leave unchanged the current 400 kbpd output increase in March. However, the US and British media reported, citing unnamed OPEC sources, that some member countries of the alliance believe it is necessary to upwardly revise this number and move forward with a more decisive increase in oil production. Most likely, differing opinions within OPEC+ (assuming that media sources are reliable) could stem from the recent spike in the Brent price to $90/bbl. Earlier, Russia’s Energy Ministry spelled out the reason for which OPEC+ might begin upwardly revise its production quotas, i.e. fears of a new US shale boom. A year ago, the CEO of Russian Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, warned that if the price of oil stays above $80/bbl for long, it could incentivize US private businesses to invest in inefficient high-profit ventures that could lead to another oil glut, followed by a flash crash in crude prices. OPEC+ will most likely leave its output increase unchanged in March and April, after which the alliance will address demand side issues.
Forecast. Next week, Brent will continue to trade around $90/bbl if it manages to consolidate above $89.3/bbl.