OPEC faces seismic demand split as cartel plots next move

The organization's coming meeting faces a big dilemma with the pandemic's winter wave stalling the global rebound at the same time as vaccine news keeps markets poised with an end of the crisis now in sight. The big question is whether the cartel will agree to prolong an output cap to buoy prices until demand recovers and surplus inventories can be rebalanced.

Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

As OPEC+ ministers gather virtually this week, the city that traditionally hosts their meetings will be locked down. Vienna’s Christmas markets will be closed, the famous Ringstrasse boulevard silent. For oil ministers, the scene should urge caution.

But while the Austrian capital provides a dramatic example of how the second wave of the pandemic is shutting down economies in Europe and the US, the global picture is more nuanced.

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