OPEC Plus Agrees to a Bigger Increase in Oil Supply

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The group of oil-producing nations known as OPEC Plus agreed on Thursday to a larger increase in supply than planned for July and August, the New York Times reported. After a videoconference, the group said it would raise production by 648,000 barrels a day, an increase of about 50 percent over the 430,000 barrels a day agreed under a program last year. Essentially, producers are compressing three months of planned increases into two months. The group suggested in a news release that it was responding to a reopening from lockdowns in countries like China. Not mentioned was pressure from Washington for an increase in supply to address rising prices. Oil prices, which had fallen before the meeting, moved higher after the OPEC Plus announcement, with West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, up nearly 1 percent, to more than $116 a barrel. Russian production has fallen by around 1 million barrels a day, or about 10 percent, since the invasion of Ukraine because of Western sanctions and wariness by some buyers of handling Russian oil. Further decreases in Russian output are expected as recent measures by the European Union to stop most Russian oil purchases take effect. Read more.