Major Oil-producing Countries Agree to Cut Output

Oil prices climbed sharply Friday after OPEC and other producers led by Russia agreed to cut output to reduce global inventories of crude oil.

OPEC countries and the Russian-led coalition agreed to collectively slash oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day, said OPEC president Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, more than the 1 million barrel cut the market anticipated.

After two days of negotiations, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries said they would cut 800,000 barrels a day, while non-OPEC allies agreed to an additional 400,000 barrels per day.

The cuts, from which OPEC members Iran, Venezuela and Libya are exempt, will begin in January and remain in effect for six months.

The deal highlights Russia’s new-found influence on the global oil market and the significance of Russia’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC.

Oil-producing nations have been under pressure to cut production to stabilize oil prices, which have dropped sharply over the past few months. Global oil prices have plummeted by more than 30 percent since early October.

The cuts were agreed to despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to maintain current levels of oil production, which have surged since the end of 2017.

The surge is primarily due to the U.S., which has increased production by 2.5 million barrels a day since early 2016, making the U.S. the world’s largest producer. 

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” 

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