OPEC May Extend, Deepen Cuts to Oil Output

An OPEC panel reviewing scenarios for next week’s policy-setting meeting is looking at the option of deepening and extending an OPEC-led deal to reduce oil output, OPEC sources said Friday.

OPEC’s national representatives — officials representing the 13 member countries, plus officials from OPEC’s Vienna secretariat — met Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the market.

The two-day meeting, called the Economic Commission Board, was scheduled to finish Thursday but will conclude later Friday, two OPEC sources said.

“We have not agreed on final scenarios,” said one of the sources.

A second source said a deeper supply cut was an option depending on estimated growth in supply from non-OPEC and U.S. shale oil.

The meeting precedes a policy-setting gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers May 25 to decide whether to extend their deal to reduce output beyond June 30.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers originally agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from Jan. 1 to support the market.

Oil prices, trading around $53 a barrel, have gained support from reduced output, but high inventories and rising supply from producers outside the deal have limited the rally, pressing the case for extending the deal.

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