The OPEC+ alliance decided to maintain production at current levels, pausing to take stock of a global oil market that’s roiled by uncertainty over Chinese demand and Russian supply.
The 23-nation group, which held a roughly 20-minute online meeting, has started implementing the hefty 2 million barrel-a-day reduction agreed at its last gathering in October. The full impact of that cut is unclear amid severe gyrations in prices. After hitting the lowest level since September on Nov. 28, Brent crude ended up posting its biggest weekly gain in a month.
The volatility has been driven by European Union sanctions and a price cap on crude exports from OPEC+ member Russia, which come into effect on Monday. At the same time, China is tentatively easing the Covid measures that have eroded consumption in the world’s biggest oil importer.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies decided earlier this week to hold on online gathering rather than meet in-person at their Vienna headquarters.