Oil prices rose on Monday after major producers finally agreed their biggest-ever output cut, but gains were capped amid concern that it won’t be enough to head off oversupply with the coronavirus pandemic hammering demand.
After four days of wrangling, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in May and June to support oil prices, representing around 10 percent of global supply.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 16 cents, or 0.5pc, to $31.64 a barrel by 0709 GMT after opening at a session high of $33.99. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up 37 cents, or 1.6pc, to $23.13 a barrel, after hitting a high of $24.74.
“What this deal does is enable the global oil industry and the national economies and other industries that depend upon it to avoid a very deep crisis,” said IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin.
“This restrains the build-up of inventories, which will reduce the pressure on prices when normality returns – whenever that is.”
Leaders of the world’s top three oil producers, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, all supported the OPEC+ deal to cut global crude output, the Kremlin said on Sunday.
Trump praised the deal, saying it would save jobs in the US energy industry.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates volunteered to make cuts even deeper than those agreed, which would effectively bring the OPEC+ supply down by 12.5 million bpd from current supply levels, the Saudi energy minister said.
However, analysts cast doubts on producers’ likely compliance with the cuts, adding that the actual reductions may not be as high as the volume pledged by producers.