OPEC+ agrees not to increase oil production amid slowing economy, Russian sanctions

Ministers from OPEC+ agreed during a Sunday meeting to stick to its policy of scaled-back oil production amid a slowing economy and a G7-imposed cap on Russian oil.

The decision comes after OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, announced in early October it would be cutting output to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) – or about 2% of world demand.

FILE: The logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on March 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner, File/AP Newsroom)

The move angered Washington, with the Biden administration accusing OPEC+’s leader, Saudi Arabia, of effectively siding with Russia in its war against Ukraine.

OPEC+ ministers denied that the move was politically motivated, saying the cut was made in response to a weaker economic outlook. In the weeks since, oil prices have declined amid slower growth – particularly in China – and higher interest rates.

The group’s key ministers will meet on Feb. 1, 2023, for a monitoring committee. A full meeting is scheduled for early June.

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Sunday’s announcement comes after the European Union on Friday reached a deal to cap Russian maritime oil at $60 a barrel in an attempt to keep global oil prices down. Under the agreement, Western companies will not be able to insure, finance or ship Russian oil sold for less than $60 a barrel.

The Kremlin rejected the EU’s plan and warned Europe that it would have to “live without Russian oil.”

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“Moscow has already made it clear that it will NOT supply oil to those countries who support anti-market price cap,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to International Organizations in Vienna said in a Saturday tweet.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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