Offshore oil supply containers are strewn about after Hurricane Ida's storm surge swept through Port Fourchon, Louisiana, US, on August 31. Picture: LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG.
Offshore oil supply containers are strewn about after Hurricane Ida's storm surge swept through Port Fourchon, Louisiana, US, on August 31. Picture: LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG.

Oil cartel Opec and its allies agreed to stick to their existing schedule for gradual monthly oil-production increases after a brief video conference. 

Ministers agreed to continue making 400,000 barrel-a-day monthly supply boosts, delegates said. The panel’s online talks lasted less than an hour — one of the quickest meetings in recent memory and in stark contrast to the drawn-out negotiations seen at the cartel’s previous meeting in July. 

With crude prices mostly recovered from their mid-August slump and the supply outlook relatively tight for the rest of the year, the group has little reason to change the established schedule of gradual monthly supply hikes. 

Opec+, of which Russia is a member, is in the process of rolling back the unprecedented output cuts implemented at the depths of the Covid-19 crisis in 2020. About 45% of the idle supply has already been revived, and in July the group laid out a plan for gradually returning the remainder through to September 2022.

There were some questions about that schedule when oil markets wobbled over the northern hemisphere summer, as the resurgent pandemic threatened demand in China and the US. But fuel use proved resilient and Opec-watchers had widely expected the group to stick with its plan. 

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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