The world’s largest oil producers have agreed to raise production slightly to help offset higher prices.
Members of the oil producers’ group OPEC+, including Russia, agreed on Wednesday to add 100,000 more barrels per day to the market from September. The latest production growth is much slower than in recent months.
The decision stunned leaders who had called for ramping up production.
US President Joe Biden travelled to Saudi Arabia to persuade the country to pump more oil to help with rising prices. Crude has consistently traded above $100 a barrel since February, driving up the cost of living in many countries.
Opec, which has 13 core members, was formed in 1960 as a cartel to fix the worldwide supply of oil and its price.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest single producer in the cartel, and after meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, President Biden said he expected supply to increase.
Saudi officials stressed any decision to increase supplies would be done in consultation with Opec+.
For July and August, Opec+ had agreed to add more than 600,000 barrels daily to the market. But after the latest meeting, Opec+ decided it would raise oil output by just 100,000 barrels per day from September in what some analysts described as an insult.
“That is so little as to be meaningless. From a physical standpoint, it is a marginal blip. As a political gesture, it is almost insulting,” said Raad Alkadiri, managing director for energy, climate, and sustainability at Eurasia Group.
Opec+ is a wider group of 23 oil-exporting countries, including Russia, which meets every month in Vienna to decide how much crude oil to sell on the world market.