The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and its partners will meet on Monday to set production targets for the month of February, hoping to overcome the dwindling demand after 2020.

The outgoing year saw the black gold production and price dipping due to COVID-19 pandemic and a rift between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Though the price stabilized by the close of the year, things remain uncertain.

The organization agreed to hike production by half a million barrels per day in January in its last meeting held in November-December.

It was also decided that a meeting would be held at the beginning of every month in order to decide on production volumes for the following month.

Before the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, OPEC members used to hold two summits per year at its headquarters in Vienna.

The 13-member OPEC is led by Saudi Arabia and its allies and Russia. Riyadh and Moscow are the second and third largest producers of oil after the United States.

In March last year, Russia and Saudi Arabia went into an oil price war due to which prices saw a steep fall.

On April 20, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude collapsed to minus $40.32 per barrel — meaning producers paid buyers to take the oil off their hands.

The tension between the two eased when the Russian and Saudi energy ministers met in December. Despite the compromise between the two countries, it is difficult to predict an increase in demand as governments around the world has started vaccination against coronavirus.

However, last month OPEC was hopeful of positive trends in the market.


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