OPEC would miss ‘friend Trump’, wary of strains under Biden, sources say

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – Key members of OPEC are wary that strains in the OPEC+ alliance could reemerge with Joe Biden as U.S. President, sources close to the organisation said, and would miss President Donald Trump who went from criticising the group to helping bring about a record oil output cut.

Biden could modify U.S. diplomatic relations with three members of OPEC – de facto leader Saudi Arabia, and sanctioned countries Iran and Venezuela, as well as with key non-OPEC producer Russia. Russia is the leader of oil producers allied with OPEC, a group known as OPEC+.

Strict enforcement of U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela has kept millions of barrels of oil per day off the market, and if Biden should relax measures on either in years to come an increase in production could make it harder for OPEC to balance supply with demand.

Biden has said he would prefer multilateral diplomacy to the unilateral sanctions Trump has imposed, although that may not mean a relaxation in sanctions any time soon. In his campaign, Biden said he’d return to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal if Tehran resumes compliance with the pact.

Trump quit the pact in 2018, reimposing sanctions that cut Iran’s oil exports. Some in OPEC fear that a return of Iranian volumes will add to oversupply without cutbacks elsewhere and worry about Moscow’s continued participation in OPEC+.Reuters News

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