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OPEC+ faces ‘chronic’ struggle to meet output target

PARIS (AFP) – The International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday raised its forecast for world oil demand in 2022 but warned of a “chronic” failure by OPEC and its allies to meet their output targets.

The 13 members of the Saudi-led Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their 10 allies, including Russia, had cut production sharply in 2020 as prices collapsed after the Covid pandemic emerged. The group, dubbed OPEC+, began to increase output last year, renewing every month a target of 400,000 barrels per day, as demand and prices recovered after countries began to lift Covid restrictions.

OPEC+ agreed on a similar increase again earlier this month despite soaring crude prices and geopolitical tensions rattling the markets. But analysts have said some members, such as Angola and Nigeria, have been unable to scale up their production and others, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are unwilling to do so.

“Chronic underperformance by OPEC+ in meeting its output targets and rising geopolitical tensions have propelled oil prices higher,” the IEA said in its monthly oil market report.