The Oklahoman

OPEC steadily building back production


FRANKFURT, Germany – The OPEC oil producers’ cartel and allied non-member countries led by Russia signed off Wednesday on gradually increasing production as the global economy and demand for fuel continue to recover from the worst of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

The group fended off pressure from the U.S. to move faster in restoring production cuts made during the pandemic and potentiall­y ease costs at the pump for American drivers.

The group, known as OPEC+, agreed at an online meeting to stick with earlier plans to add back 400,000 barrels per day from Oct. 1.

The cartel and its allies are gingerly restoring deep cuts made last year, when lockdowns and travel restrictio­ns caused demand for fuel and prices to crater.

Prices fell ahead of the meeting but trimmed losses afterwards. Oil was off 0.4% at $68.26 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, an internatio­nal benchmark, traded down 0.4% at $71.36 per barrel.

The OPEC+ decision tracks with a plan forged in July to add back 400,000 barrels a day each month until last year’s cuts are restored next year.

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