VOA – OPEC and other key oil producers agreed Saturday to extend production cuts of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through July to boost oil prices severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All participating countries… agreed the option of extending the first phase of the production adjustments pertaining in May and June by one further month,” OPEC said in a statement.
In April OPEC and other oil-rich countries, led by Russia, agreed to cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day from May 1 until the end of June.
The current OPEC president, Algerian Oil Minister Mohamed Arkab, warned his counterparts that the global oil inventory would increase to 1.5 billion barrels after July.
“Despite the progress to date, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels,” Arkab said. “The challenges we face remain daunting.”
Saudi Oil Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, whose countries are the main producers in and outside OPEC, respectively, echoed that message, saying that April was the worst month for the global oil market historically, and drastic measures were necessary.
U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette took to Twitter to welcome the extension of oil production cuts.
“I applaud OPEC-plus for reaching an important agreement today which comes at a pivotal time as oil demand continues to recover and economies reopen around the world,” Brouillette wrote.
Oil ministers from key producers agreed to meet monthly to assess the April agreement.