OPEC+ Agrees Biggest Output Cut Ever

Mohammad Barkindo
OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo

Published Apr 12, 2020 5:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

OPEC+ has agreed to cut oil output by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (around 10 percent of global supply) for the months of May and June.

The agreement will then see OPEC+ cut production by eight million barrels per day to the end of 2020 and six million barrels per day till end of April 2022. 

The cut is over four times that made during the 2008 financial crisis. Agreed on Sunday, it is designed to support oil prices during the dramatic drop in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said of the OPEC+ conference: “These production adjustments are historic; they are largest in volume and the longest in duration, as they are planned to last for two years. We are witnessing today the triumph of international cooperation and multilateralism which are the core of OPEC values.” He noted that this agreement has paved the way for a global alliance with the participation of the G20.

The African Petroleum Producers' Organization (APPO) commended OPEC+ on the agreement. APPO Member Countries who are not in the OPEC+ have also committed to contributing to cuts, but details of the adjustments are yet to be released.

In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said: “The big Oil Deal with OPEC Plus is done. This will save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States. I would like to thank and congratulate President Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. I just spoke to them from the Oval Office. Great deal for all!”

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said: "While the demand disruption caused by COVID-19 and the price war have greatly harmed the industry, I am confident it will soon bounce back stronger than ever before.”

However, Bjornar Tonhaugen, Head of Oil Markets at Rystad Energy, commented: “Even though OPEC+ has decided to attempt to bail out the global oil market, the group has unfortunately only come up with half of the ransom money. We believe the market’s disappointment will reflect in prices already from April due the lack of size and the speed of the supply removal.

“At least the global oil market may not exhaust the storage capacity as early as it would without the voluntary production cuts. The oil market will see enormous stock builds in April as the deal is only in effect from 1 May, while gradual shut ins and production declines will already happen during the current month.

“We believe oil prices will see renewed downwards pressure. Further down the line, however, this deal may be bullish as OPEC+ plans to endure with the six million bpd cut through 2021, when oil demand most likely will have recovered back to normal and as supply capacity will have sustained a lasting damage.”