OPEC, the oil exporters’ group, has decided to extend output restrictions until March 2018 at its meeting in Vienna on May 30.
The group was discussing whether to extend the oil production reductions agreed last year and due to expire at the end of June, alongside delegates from some oil suppliers outside OPEC.
Two key players had already stated that they want to extend the existing limit for nine months, until March next year: OPEC’s biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, the biggest exporter outside the organisation.
At their last meeting at the end of November, OPEC and 11 non-members, including Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017. The decision initially pushed oil prices above US$50 per barrel.
However, rising fracking production in the US, combined with weak demand in China, have since led to dropping prices.