OPEC, Allies to Discuss Impact of Coronavirus on Oil Demand February 03, 2020
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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC’s Joint Technical Committee (JTC) has scheduled a meeting over February 4-5 in Vienna, Austria to assess the impact of China’s new coronavirus on oil demand.

OPEC sources told Reuters that the technical panel is likely to make a recommendation on whether to extend current oil supply curbs beyond March or to implement deeper output cuts.

OPEC officials are considering their options on how best to deal with the potential impact from the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 300 people and caused oil prices to slide.

OPEC will assemble experts in a joint technical committee for the meeting.

Crude prices have suffered since the virus outbreak as worries about its impact on China’s economic growth have taken hold.

China is the world’s second-biggest economy and a huge consumer of crude.

US benchmark oil contract WTI has fallen by around 18 per cent over the past month.

Top oil exporter and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said this week that the impact of the virus on oil demand was “extremely limited” but that the kingdom was closely following events.

Russian Energy Minister, Mr. Alexander Novak, said that the virus crisis could lead to lower demand for hydrocarbon fuels.

The 13-member OPEC cartel regularly sits down with 10 non-members led by Russia to decide on measures to influence the oil price.