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OPEC and allies agree to gradually increase production

OPEC and non-OPEC allies, after days of tense discussions, agreed on Thursday to increase production by 500,000 barrels per day beginning in January. This will bring the total production cuts at the start of 2021 to 7.2 million bpd. Ahead of the meeting, OPEC and its partners, known collectively as OPEC+, were widely expected to extend the current production cut of 7.7 million bpd through at least March. Talks were suspended on Tuesday after it became clear they were unable to reach a compromise.

Oil ministers from the 23-member group, which is composed of some of the world’s largest crude producers, kicked off their meeting around 10 a.m. ET, following a several-hour delay.

“500,000 bpd from January is not the nightmare scenario that the market feared, but it is not what was really expected weeks ago,” said Rystad Energy senior oil markets analyst Paola Rodriguez Masiu. “Markets are now reacting positively and prices are recording a small increase as 500,000 of extra supply is not deadly for balances,” she added.

Following the meeting, international benchmark Brent crude futures traded 1.4% higher at $48.92 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures settled 36 cents, or 0.8%, higher at $45.64 per barrel.

Both price contracts snapped a multiday losing streak in the previous session, closing higher on encouraging Covid-19 vaccine news. Oil prices remain more than 25% lower year to date.

OPEC and allies agree to gradually increase production after days of discussions, CNBC, Dec 4

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