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OPEC moots potential in-person September 30 meeting in Baghdad

Iraq has invited OPEC to hold its first in-person meeting in 16 months in Baghdad on September 30, sources told S&P Global Platts, to mark the 60th anniversary of the organization’s founding in a ceremony that was postponed from 2020.

The meeting, which Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Ismaael proposed in a letter to OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, has not been finalized, the sources said, and is not indicated on the organization’s website.

Ministers will discuss the potential Baghdad gathering, first reported by Russian news agency Tass, when they convene online July 1 for their regular meeting.

Iraqi oil ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

OPEC, along with its allies in a supply accord, last met face to face in Vienna in March 2020 — an infamous, fractious affair that led to a punishing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, just as the coronavirus pandemic was wreaking havoc on the global economy and the oil market.

Since then, the two sides have patched things up and instituted historic production cuts to shore up prices, but COVID-19 caution and travel restrictions have forced the OPEC+ alliance to conduct its business virtually.

The July 1 online meeting will largely focus on setting output quotas for August and possibly beyond, with ICE Brent crude futures now above $75/b, a 50% rise since the start of the year.

OPEC formed in 1960 with founding members Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, following a five-day summit in Baghdad.
Source: Platts

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