Consensus points to no change from OPEC+ on February 1, according to a new BofA Global Research report, which was sent to Rigzone recently.

“In what has been a relatively quiet week for U.S. inventories, we turn our attention back to the next ‘regulatory’ event that is the OPEC+ meeting on Feb 1, noting Saudi’s self-described view of how the agreement can stabilize oil markets,” BofA Global Research stated in the report.

“Ahead of the meeting, press speculation suggests no material change in expected output, mainly as the variables polarizing potential outcomes between the reopening of China and next round of expected European sanctions on Russia all carry uncertainty – but also, all point to upside risk from loss of supply or higher demand,” the company added in the report.

“On balance we see it reasonable that there is no immediate need for any new oil from the members of OPEC+ that have the spare capacity to add supply – noting that all three commentators (the IEA, EIA and OPEC) see surpluses in 1H23,” BofA Global Research continued.

Two Things Worth Watching

In the report, BofA Global Research noted that two things are worth watching “that we agree keeps the outlook finely balanced”.

“First, the loss of Russian production has been much less severe than expected: more importantly perhaps is that since October, shipping reports suggests exports from Iran have continued to drift higher, with industry speculation suggesting China as the end market, with Malaysia serving as an apparent intermediary,” BofA Global Research stated in the report.

“For now, the net is that per Kayrros satellite data, global oil and product stocks have moved up ~50 million barrels over the past month to the highest level since Sep-21 despite the end of inventory releases from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (for the second consecutive week), albeit at the seasonally low point for demand,” the company added.

In a separate statement sent to Rigzone recently, Tom Seng, an Assistant Professor in Energy at the Texas Christian University’s Ralph Lowe Energy Institute, outlined that oil traders are reluctant to take large bets on price direction ahead of the OPEC+ group meeting on February 1. In the statement, Seng highlighted that traders will be eyeing this meeting this week.


The latest OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting took place on December 4, when ministers decided to hold production steady. That meeting followed a decision by the group back in October to cut overall production by two million barrels per day from its August 2022 required production levels, starting in November 2022.

According to a production table posted on OPEC’s website in October, Saudi Arabia and Russia are bearing most of these cuts at 526,000 barrels per day, each. The table showed that Iraq had the next highest voluntary cut figure, at 220,000 barrels per day, followed by Kuwait, at 135,000 barrels per day.