Opec+ ministers are essentially faced with two choices when they meet virtually on 4 December. To stick with current production allocations or cut again. Delegates insist that no decision will be made until the meeting itself, but the mood music is increasingly shifting towards holding firm amid swirling market uncertainty.

The meeting takes place just one day before the European embargo on seaborne Russian crude oil is due to come into force and uncertainty over the impact greatly complicates the decision-making process for Opec+. This embargo will also entail a ban on insurance and other critical services for seaborne exports of Russian crude oil, creating additional obstacles for the continued flow of cargoes to the likes of India and China (see p20 and MEES, 25 November). (CONTINUED - 804 WORDS)