The 180th meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began today afternoon via video conference in the presence of oil and energy ministers of member countries with OPEC president saying "There are signs of light at end of the tunnel."

Iran Press/Europe: The meeting comes as promising coronavirus vaccines have pushed up oil prices, which crossed the $48 per barrel threshold for Brent crude benchmark over the past week. The OPEC oil basket price was higher than $46 per barrel on the last day of the week. However, demand for oil remains weak.

Algeria’s Minister of Energy and OPEC President, Abdelmadjid Attar, addressed the opening of the meeting.

"2020 continues to be a year of immense challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a dramatic loss of lives and livelihoods," he said.

"The pandemic continues to rage with cases soaring in many regions around the world. It continues to affect the global economy adversely and, consequently, the world energy markets in an unprecedented manner. The shock to the oil industry is massive, and its severe impacts will likely reverberate in the years to come," Algeria’s Minister said.

"The global economy is still in deep recession with growth pegged at minus 4.3% for 2020. Global oil demand for 2020 is expected to decline by around 9.8 mb/d as the second wave of the pandemic and related lockdowns put a damper on demand," OPEC President highlighted.

"The road to recovery is long and bumpy. It requires great patience. However, there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel. Next year, the global economy is forecast to return to growth, expanding by an estimated 4.4%, and oil demand growth is expected to be high, to the tune of 6.1 mb/d. This brighter outlook for 2021 gives us cautious optimism and is a clear indication that we are on the right path," the president highlighted.

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