ANKARA

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has started Saturday their 179th Meeting of the OPEC Conference via videoconference to discuss their crude production cut deal and the current situation of the global oil market.

“Much has transpired since the last meeting of the conference,” Mohamed Arkab, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference, said in a statement during his opening speech.

“During the first half of 2020, [global crude oil] stocks are expected to have increased by 1.1 billion barrels. This is unprecedented,” he said.

“Both supply and demand have improved during the last few weeks as economic activity slowly returns to normal. We need to carefully review the market condition,” he added.

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries agreed on April 12 to lower their total crude production by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) between May 1 and June 30 to mitigate the coronavirus-related weak global oil demand and low prices.

In the 179th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the organization is expected to extend the production cut agreement for an additional month until the end of July.

OPEC countries are also anticipated to discuss the level of compliance of member nations — those who do not comply with their individual production cuts, namely Iraq and Nigeria.

The two OPEC countries produced crude in May, and possibly during June, more than their compliance levels, and they are asked to extend curbing their outputs in July, August and September.

“Nigeria reconfirms our commitment under the existing agreement; subscribes to the concept of compensation by countries who are unable to attain full conformity (100%) in May and June to accommodate it in July,August and September,” OPEC said in a statement earlier on Saturday.

Mexico, a non-OPEC member, said Friday that it does not agree to extending or deepening the agreed output cuts of OPEC+ nations beyond June 30.

The 23-member OPEC+ group will convene on Saturday at 1400 GMT.

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