Oil Prices Rise in Anticipation of OPEC+ Extending Supply Cuts
Oil prices rose on Friday as OPEC+, the loose organization of 24 oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, prepared to meet on Saturday to discuss extending unprecedented oil production cuts and to adopt measures aimed at forcing compliance on countries such as Iraq and Nigeria. The OPEC+ meeting was originally to have been held next week, and the decision to hold it earlier is being interpreted as a sign of broader agreement on extending the cuts. Brent crude futures were up 95 cents or 2.4%, at $40.94 a barrel as of 9:20 am UTC, after rising over $1 to $41.18. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures also rose, by 64 cents or 1.7%, to $38.05 a barrel. The OPEC+ nations previously agreed to cut supply by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) during May and June to prop up prices that have plummeted due to decreased demand in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Production cuts were then to be eased to 7.7 million bpd from July to December. Saudi Arabia and Russia are said to have agreed to extend the deeper cuts until the end of July, and Riyadh wants them extended an additional month, to the end of August.