Vienna (AFP)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, will meet on Saturday to follow up on their agreement to reduce oil production, supposed to help a market depressed by the pandemic.

Initially scheduled for June 9 and 10, this meeting between the petroleum ministers of the 13 OPEC countries and their ten external allies via the Opep + agreement was brought forward to Saturday, a source close to AFP announced on Friday. the organization.

Algeria, which currently chairs the cartel, offered to move the date of the conference forward, which Russia did not object to.

It will take place by videoconference, the participants being unable to travel to Vienna, OPEC headquarters, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To offset the collapse in global demand for black gold, OPEC countries and their allies have been demanding since May 1 and for two months to reduce their production by 9.7 million barrels (mbd) per day, or around 10% of world supply before the crisis.

The terms of the agreement concluded on April 12 specify that this reduction must pass to 7.7 mbd from July to December but the cartel could well act the maintenance of the current volume withdrawn from the market beyond June 30.

"It now seems very likely (that OPEC +) will extend the current May-June reductions by an additional month," said Bjornar Tonhaugen, analyst at Rystad Energy.

"We have agreed that it is necessary to extend them for at least a month. Then we will look at the situation," a source close to the negotiations told Russian agency TASS on Wednesday.

Some analysts and market observers expect a longer extension, until the end of the summer or even the year for the most optimistic.

- Respect of the agreement -

As often, negotiations promise to be tense between Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two heavyweights of the agreement, in particular on the conformity between the commitments made by the countries and their implementation, a thorny subject which "complicates efforts, "said Al Stanton, analyst at RBC.

Data provider Kpler calculates that the expanded cartel cut production by about 8.6 million barrels per day (mbd) in May, 11% less than expected.

"The problem is knowing what to do with countries that do not respect the promised reductions, such as Iraq and Nigeria, the notorious OPEC cheaters who for years now have never fully respected the agreements precedents, "said Ole S. Hansen of Saxobank on Thursday in a note.

Despite the strong pressures, it is however "unlikely" that those most economically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the fall in crude oil prices will give in, said Paola Rodriguez Masiu of Rystad Energy.

Crude prices reacted positively to this disruption of the calendar: the European benchmark, the barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in August, gained 5.8% to finish at 42.30 dollars and that of American WTI for July delivery increased 5.7% to close at 39.55 dollars.

This is their highest level since early March.

© 2020 AFP