When officials from OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing countries met by videoconference on Thursday, they had something to worry about. Among those concerns were whether the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus could torpedo a promising economic recovery, as well as concerns by the United States and key Asian clients, including China, over high oil prices.
Finally, The group, known as OPEC Plus, has decided to take the easy route and stick to the previously agreed program of gradually adding oil to the market. They decided to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in January, just like in recent months.
But to show worried oil markets that they are willing to change the plan if necessary, producers said in a press release that their meeting “will remain in session” so that producers can keep an eye on the market and “make immediate adjustments if needed.”
Keeping the planned boost on track is likely to ease tensions with the Biden administration, which orchestrated the release of oil reserves from the US Strategic Oil Reserve last month in conjunction with smaller moves by other major oil consumers. And that decision also signaled that it remains unclear what impact the Omicron option will have on the global economy.