OPEC+ mulling further oil output cut

OPEC and its allies are considering cutting further 500,000 bpd due to impact of coronavirus outbreak on oil demand.

LONDON - OPEC and its allies are considering a further cut in their oil output of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to the impact of the coronavirus on oil demand, two OPEC sources and a third industry source familiar with discussions said.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, are considering holding a ministerial meeting on February 14-15, one of the OPEC sources said, earlier than a current schedule for a meeting in March.

The coronavirus outbreak in China could cut oil demand by more than 250,000 bpd in the first quarter of this year and creating a drag on oil prices already beleaguered by oversupply, analysts and traders say.

OPEC member Iran said earlier on Monday the spread of the virus had hit oil demand and called for an effort to stabilise prices, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported.

Russia on Friday said it was ready to bring forward the OPEC+ meetings to February.

An OPEC and non-OPEC panel called the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) has scheduled a meeting for Feb. 4-5 in Vienna to assess the impact of the virus on demand, other OPEC+ sources said.

The technical panel is likely to make a recommendation on any further action to support the market, the sources said.