The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has resumed its discussion on the extension oil production cuts as it set its sights on “oil market stability in the interest of producers, consumers and the global economy”.

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The OPEC members met via videoconference on Monday to discuss output quotas for the months ahead.

The group said in a statement that member country delegations would reconvene for further deliberations.

“The shock to the oil industry is massive and its severe impacts will likely reverberate in the years to come,” the President of the OPEC Conference and Algeria’s Minister of Energy, Abdelmadjid Attar, told the group.

He noted that 2020 continued to be a year of immense challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had led to a dramatic loss of lives and livelihoods.

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“The pandemic continues to rage with cases soaring in many regions around the world. It continues to affect adversely the global economy and, consequently, the world energy markets, in an unprecedented manner.

“The global economy is still in deep recession with growth pegged at minus 4.3 per cent for 2020. Global oil demand for 2020 is expected to decline by around 9.8 million barrels per day as the second wave of the pandemic and related lockdowns put a damper on demand.”

Attar said markets had reacted positively in recent days, as various pharmaceutical companies had made positive strides in the development and approval of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

“However, it is clear that a global deployment of vaccines will take time, and its effect will likely begin to be significantly apparent in the second half of 2021,” he added.