OPEC+ rebuffs U.S. calls for speedier oil output increases
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Shafaq News / OPEC and its allies agreed at a meeting on Thursday to stick to plans to raise oil output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from December, despite calls from the United States for extra supply to cool rising prices.
Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia has already dismissed calls for speedier oil supply increases from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, citing economic headwinds.
OPEC+ sources said the United States has plenty of capacity to raise production itself if it wants to help the world speed up an economic recovery.
Oil prices have surged this year to a three-year high above $86 a barrel as demand recovers from COVID-19 restrictions and OPEC+ gradually ramps up supplies.
Producers are concerned about going too fast, fearing renewed setbacks in the battle against the pandemic.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that since August OPEC has already added 2 million bpd to global supply and will continue with its plan to add another 400,000 bpd each month in the later part of 2021 and the early months of 2022.
"There are some signs of decreased oil demand in the European Union in October. Global oil demand is still under pressure from the Delta COVID variant," Novak said, explaining why OPEC+ has chosen not to add more barrels.
U.S. President Joe Biden had on Saturday urged major G20 energy producing countries with spare capacity to boost production to ensure a stronger global economic recovery.
His statement is part of a broad effort by the White House to pressure OPEC and its allies to increase supply.
The world's largest oil producer, the United States, which is not part of OPEC+, saw its production fall steeply in 2020 when oil prices plunged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Production has since recovered but much slower than anticipated.