The OPEC+ alliance decided to maintain production at current levels, pausing to take stock of a global oil market that’s roiled by uncertainty over Chinese demand and Russian supply.
The 23-nation group has only just implemented the hefty 2 million barrel-a-day reduction agreed at its last gathering in October, and the full impact of that cut is unclear amid severe gyrations in prices. After hitting the lowest level since September on Nov. 28, Brent crude ended up posting its biggest weekly gain in a month.
The volatility has been driven by European Union sanctions on crude exports from OPEC+ member Russia, which come into effect on Monday. At the same time, China is tentatively easing the Covid measures that have eroded consumption in the world’s biggest oil importer.
The agreement came after an online gathering of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which replaced the in-person gathering at its Vienna headquarters that had been planned until this week. Sunday’s virtual meeting took about 20 minutes.
OPEC+ opts to keep output steady, as most analysts expected
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