Opec+ laid out a roadmap this week for tapering its production cuts into the third and final 5.8mn b/d phase of output restrictions that were originally agreed in April 2020. The move was the inverse of recent Opec+ ministerial meetings, where the producer alliance surprised observers with production rollovers.

Where the prevailing narrative entering the discussions was of recent price gains and renewed lockdowns in Europe pointing towards another rollover, Opec+ instead agreed to ease production cuts by 350,000 b/d in May, 350,000 b/d in June and a further 450,000 b/d in July. This will bring the cumulative ceiling to 36.34mn b/d (see table), down 5.76mn b/d from the baseline and in line with the third phase of cuts that were originally intended to begin in January 2021. Production will then be capped at this level until cuts expire at the end of April 2022. (CONTINUED - 871 WORDS)