OPEC+ panel to meet amid oil price decline

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Updated 17 September 2020

OPEC+ panel to meet amid oil price decline

  • The output reduction target is expected to stay at 7.7 million barrels per day
  • The group has called on Iraq and others to pump below their quota in September

DUBAI: OPEC and allies, led by Russia, are scheduled to hold an online meet on Thursday to discuss compliance with their agreed output cuts and demand trends amid falling oil prices and a faltering economic recovery outlook.
A panel of key producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, is expected to keep their current output reduction target of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or around eight percent of global demand.
They will also likely press laggards such as Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates to cut more barrels to compensate for overproduction.
The meeting, known as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), is expected to start at 1200 GMT, OPEC+ sources said.
OPEC+ producers have been reducing production since January 2017 to help support prices and reduce global oil stockpiles. They increased their cuts to a record 9.7 million bpd from May to July after demand plunged in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The group has called on Iraq and others to pump below their quota in September to compensate for overproduction between May and July.


Ski resorts out in the cold as France eases lockdown

Updated 27 November 2020

Ski resorts out in the cold as France eases lockdown

  • Frustrated resort operators count the cost of holiday season restrictions

MEGEVE, France:  Megeve, in the foothills of Mont Blanc, was gearing up to welcome back skiers before Christmas after a COVID-19 lockdown was eased.

But France’s government — while allowing cinemas, museums and theaters to reopen from Dec. 15 — says its ski slopes must stay off limits until 2021, leaving those who make their living in the Alpine village frustrated and, in some cases, perplexed.

“When you’re outside, when you’re doing sport outdoors, that’s not the moment when you’re going to give COVID-19 to someone. COVID-19 is passed on in enclosed places,” said Pierre de Monvallier, director of ski school Oxygene, which operates in several resorts including Megeve.

Announcing a phased easing of the lockdown on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was “impossible to envisage” re-opening ski slopes for Christmas and New Year, and that he preferred instead to do so during January.

“It felt like the door had been slammed in our face,” said Catherine Jullien-Breches, the mayor of Megeve, whose green slopes are generally covered with snow by mid-December.

“Unfortunately it’s a real drama for the economies of the villages and the winter sports resorts.”

People who live within 20 km of France’s Alpine resorts will able to visit from this weekend, but with the lifts staying shut, the main draw is missing.

“It’s like going on holiday on the Cote d’Azur and being told the sea is off limits,” said David Le Scouarnec, co-owner of Megeve’s Cafe 2 la Poste.

The problem for the resorts — and the hotels, restaurants, and workers who depend on them for their livelihood — is that their season is short, and they will have little time after the New Year to claw back lost revenue.

Other European authorities are wrestling with the same problem. Italy’s resorts regions are seeking approval for restricted skiing, but Austria, whose biggest cluster of the first wave of the pandemic was at the ski resort of Ischgl — where thousands were infected — is skeptical.

Prevarication cuts little ice, however, with Mathieu Dechavanne, Chairman and CEO of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, which operates cable cars at Megeve and other resorts.

He said who could not understand why the government allowed trains and metros to operate, but barred him from re-opening. “It’s like we’re being punished. We don’t deserve this. We’re ready.”