New OPEC+ production agreement sees Saudis taking deepest cuts

Grant Smith, Salma El Wardany and Javier Blas January 05, 2021

(Bloomberg) --OPEC+ reached an agreement to curb supply next month, with Saudi Arabia carrying a greater burden of oil-output cuts while others hold steady or make a small increase, delegates said.

The deal, which emerged after two days of talks, sent crude surging to a 10-month high in New York. It appeared to give most members of the group what they wanted -- the additional price support desired by Saudi Arabia and the production boost Russia had been pushing.

Saudi Arabia didn’t disclose the size of its extra reduction, the delegates said, asking not to be named because the information was private. The last time the kingdom made a unilateral cut, in June last year, it removed an extra 1 million barrels a day of supply from the market.

In contrast, Russia and Kazakhstan will be allowed to boost output in February by a combined 75,000 barrels a day, delegates said. That’s a token increase for the two largest non-OPEC producers in the alliance.

The rest of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies were nearing a consensus on holding their output steady in February, delegates said.

The proposals would mean the global market will get less supply in February than traders had been expecting prior to this week. Oil prices surged, with West Texas Intermediate crude jumping as much as 5.1% to $50.05 a barrel in New York, the highest since Feb. 26.

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