OPEC, Allies Near Agreement for Small Production Increase

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are closing in on an agreement to modestly boost their collective oil output by as much as 500,000 barrels a day starting next month, people familiar with the matter said.

The agreement would mark a compromise among some of the world’s biggest producers as they meet later Thursday to formalize a deal.

The compromise bridges differences between the producers over whether the time was right to start rolling back cuts they and oil-producing allies agreed to earlier in the year in an effort to stabilize prices. Earlier this week, OPEC was leaning toward recommending keeping existing cuts in place for as much as three more months, according to people familiar with their deliberations. That ran up against opposition from some members who wanted to start pumping again as oil prices begin to recover.

That view is shared by Russia, which leads another big bloc of oil producers. OPEC and this Russia-led group, known as “OPEC-plus,” have acted in concert in recent months to stabilize oil markets after the pandemic closed swaths of the global economy, walloping demand.

The sanctioning of a modest production increase would represent a middle ground between a Saudi plan to extend curbs for three months and the group’s original plan to boost output of 2 million barrels a day in January.

Source: WSJ

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