The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, announced that it would stick to existing plans for a moderate oil output increase of 400,000 barrels per day in March despite surging crude prices.
OPEC+ reconfirmed “the decision to adjust upward the monthly overall production by 400,000 barrels per day for the month of March 2022”, according to a statement released on Wednesday after the 25th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.
In recent weeks oil prices have been hovering near multi-year highs driven by geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe and the Middle East, reports Xinhua news agency.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude were both trading above $88 a barrel before Wednesday’s OPEC+ meeting, and last week saw both benchmarks hit their highest levels since October 2014.
In July 2021, the OPEC+ countries agreed to raise oil output by 400,000 barrels per day each month to gradually offset the production cuts made at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The oil cartel has since been sticking to the plan despite calls from top consumers, including the US, to further boost supplies to rein in soaring oil prices as demand recovers from the pandemic-induced slump.
Some OPEC+ countries have reportedly been struggling to meet the planned production quotas due to years of underinvestment.
A recent Bloomberg survey showed that OPEC added only 90,000 barrels of output per day in December 2021.
The 26th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting will convene on March 2.