What was meant to be a packed day of Opec and Opec+ virtual ministerial meetings on 1 July soon turned into a stalemate as divisions between key players came to the fore. As MEES went to press late on 2 July, ministers were still unable to break the deadlock. The tense, lengthy discussions were in marked contrast to the previous month’s swift Opec+ meeting, but then those talks went smoothly primarily because ministers deferred the tough questions to this week.

With Brent above $75/B going into the talks, consumers had a lot riding on the outcome. The Opec+ cuts entered their final phase on 1 July, which entails the group withholding 5.76mn b/d from the market until the end of April 2022. With demand recovering, concerns that the market is undersupplied have been pushing up prices and piling pressure on Opec+ to return some additional barrels to the market this summer. (CONTINUED - 950 WORDS)