OPEC’s secretary-general said on Tuesday he was cautiously optimistic the oil market would recover this year from the slump in demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Monthly meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia - a grouping known as OPEC+ - are there to stop an imbalance from re-emerging, OPEC’s Mohammad Barkindo told a virtual forum.
“We all agree that the recovery is fragile, there are still more uncertainties, but we are cautiously optimistic that the recovery will materialize this year,” he said.
Oil prices have rallied to an 11-month high this month, helped by a Jan. 5 decision by most members of OPEC+ to hold production steady in February and a pledge by Saudi Arabia to voluntarily cut output.
Barkindo, speaking at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, said that OPEC+ needed to be flexible and was seeking stable markets.
The energy minister for OPEC member the United Arab Emirates earlier told the same event he saw the start of the market recovery this year.
“This year the way we see it is a year of recovery, whether it’s going to be the end of the year where we are supposed to reach the balance or the beginning of 2022,” Suhail al-Mazrouei said.
The minister of the Gulf producer also said he sees good oil demand growth in China and India as more countries begin their coronavirus vaccination campaigns.