OPEC, allies stick to modest oil supply increases

A group of oil-producing countries and their allies known as OPEC+ on Thursday agreed to continue with its previously planned modest increase in oil production. 

A statement from the group affirmed that it will stick to its plan to increase supply monthly by 400,000 barrels per day for January 2022.

The announcement comes as oil prices have fallen over the course of the past week, amid uncertainty from the new omicron coronavirus variant. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, U.S. crude prices were as high as about $79 per barrel, but on Thursday, they were down to about $67 per barrel. 

Last year, oil prices fell significantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people traveled and commuted less often and therefore needed less fuel. 

But, prices this year have been on the rise as more people get vaccinated and economies recover. This has resulted in high fuel prices in both the U.S. and globally. 

Because of the high prices, the Biden administration had been pushing OPEC+ in recent months to up its supply by more than the 400,000 barrels adjustment, but its request was repeatedly bucked by the cartel.

In light of this, the U.S. and other non-OPEC nations recently tapped into their oil reserves in order to ease prices.