When it meets on Tuesday, OPEC+ is expected to stick to its plans for a February output hike, forecasting a minor and short-lived impact on demand from the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to three sources within the group of oil producers.
OPEC+, a grouping of OPEC and allies led by Russia, has begun gradually unravelling record oil production cuts agreed in 2020 to counter the pandemic's demand destruction.
According to current plans, it will increase its February production target by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), as it has done every month since mid-2021.
The group downplayed the Omicron variant's impact on the oil market in a technical report.
The Joint Technical Committee (JTC) report stated that "the impact of Omicron is projected to be minor and short-lived, as the globe becomes better equipped to manage COVID-19 and its related difficulties."
"This is in addition to a stable economic outlook in both advanced and emerging economies," the report added.
While the group has increased its targets, production has not kept up since some members are experiencing capacity constraints.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said last month that OPEC+ oil producers failed to meet their production targets by 650,000 bpd in November and 730,000 bpd in October.
According to the JTC report's base scenario, OECD commercial oil stocks in 2022 will be lower than the 2015-2019 average in the first three quarters before increasing above that average by 24 million barrels in the fourth quarter.