An alliance of crude oil producers led by Saudi Arabia is pushing OPEC and its allies to increase oil production from August, officials of the group said, as there are signs that the demand for coronavirus-related locks is returning to normal levels.
Key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their Russia-led allies will meet on Wednesday via web conference to discuss the group's current and future production.
In April, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, launched a move in which the 23-producer group cut its collective production by 9.7 million barrels a day as the pandemic led to a collapse in oil demand.
Saudi Arabia and most of the coalition participants are now supporting a loosening of the curbs, the delegates said. According to a Saudi proposal, the so-called OPEC Plus coalition would loosen its current restrictions by 2 million barrels a day to 7.7 million barrels a day, the delegates said.
Relative optimism on the part of producers coincides with a report from the International Energy Agency on Friday, which shows that the worst effects of the corona virus on global oil demand have passed, but will continue to repeat as the market changes in the second half of 2020 slowly recovered.
The world's largest oil producers are trying to wipe up an oil spill and stabilize prices. Brent crude oil
The global benchmark has fallen 31% to $ 43.24 a barrel since the beginning of the year. West Texas Intermediate Futures
, the benchmark in US oil markets, has been trading at around $ 40 a barrel since late June, after falling below zero at one point in April.
The OPEC Plus alliance has been gradually deepening production declines since 2016 as it has been exposed to competition from US oil producers. Some members of the group made a rare exception in mid-2018 when they temporarily increased production to compensate for lost Iranian barrels due to U.S. sanctions.
An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com