© Reuters. The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is located in front of the headquarters in Vienna
By Rania El Gamal, Ahmad Ghaddar and Alex Lawler
LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC and other oil producers, a group known as OPEC +, are considering postponing production cuts to April instead of increasing production as the recovery in oil demand remains fragile due to the coronavirus, three OPEC + shared -Sources Reuters with.
OPEC + ministers will hold a full meeting on Thursday.
The market had expected OPEC + to ease production cuts by around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from April.
OPEC leader Saudi Arabia was also expected to end its voluntary production cut by another 1 million bpd.
But on Wednesday, three OPEC + sources said some key OPEC members had proposed leaving OPEC + production unchanged.
It is not immediately clear whether Saudi Arabia will end or extend its voluntary cuts, they said.
Oil prices rose about $ 1 a barrel on the news, trading near $ 64 a barrel.
On Tuesday, a document viewed by Reuters called for "cautious optimism" by OPEC + experts, stating "the underlying uncertainties in physical markets and macroeconomic sentiment, including the risks of COVID-19 mutations, which are still on the rise ", were cited.
It was suggested that a recent rally in oil prices could have been caused by financial players rather than improvements in market fundamentals.
OPEC expects global oil demand to increase by 5.8 million bpd to around 96 million bpd in 2021, but remains lower than demand in 2019, which was around 100 million bpd.
Russia was widely expected to push for further increases, but failed to increase production in February, despite OPEC + allowing it, as harsh winter weather affected production in mature fields.
After speaking with Denis Deryushkin, Russia's representative on the OPEC + Technical Committee, JP Morgan said Russia sees some reasons to increase production as the oil market is running a 500,000 bpd deficit.
"Russia believes the market would run into an even more severe deficit if production were kept at current levels," the bank said.
"So production needs to be restored, but the speed and quantity have yet to be decided," he added.
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