OPEC+ should reconsider output increase: Kuwaiti oil minister

KUWAIT (Agencies): The 400,000 barrel per day increase in oil output agreed by OPEC+ nations in previous gatherings might be reconsidered at its next meeting on Sept. 1, Kuwait’s oil minister said on Sunday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, will meet on Wednesday to discuss the previously agreed increase of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the next several months.

“The markets are slowing. Since COVID-19 has begun its fourth wave in some areas, we must be careful and reconsider this increase. There may be a halt to the 400,000 (bpd) increase,” Mohammad Abdulatif al-Fares told Reuters at a government-sponsored event in Kuwait City.

He added that the economies of East Asian countries and China remain affected by COVID-19 and caution must be exercised. The US has urged OPEC and its allies to boost oil output to tackle rising gasoline prices that it views as a threat to the global economic recovery. Asked about the US call, Fares said OPEC+ members had different views on the matter.

“There are meetings with OPEC countries, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and so far there are different views on how to handle this issue,” Fares said.

OPEC+ last year implemented a record output cut of 10 million bpd, equating to about 10% of world demand, when energy demand plunged because of travel restrictions and national lockdowns to counter the spread of COVID-19.

UAE exchanges extend trading hours: The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange announced two initiatives on Saturday, extending its trading hours and cutting trading fees by 50 percent.

The stock exchange said it would reduce trading commissions on all deals by 50 percent, from September 1. The market also announced the extension of trading hours for an additional one hour, with the trading day from 10am to 3pm, starting from October 3.

Trading fees will be reduced to 0.025 percent instead of 0.05 percent. This is the third reduction that the market has made in less than three years and the second during 2021.

The extension of the trading period for an additional hour has been made to harmonize the exchange’s operations with global markets, according to an official statement to the market.

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