OPEC+ Just Announced Oil Output Cuts In A Surprise Move. Here's How It Could Really Affect You.

Zinger Key Points
  • OPEC+ nations, in a preemptive move, announced a coordinated cut of oil output aimed at stabilizing market.
  • Oil prices dropped to a low of $64.12 in late March but are slowly seeing an uptick.

OPEC+, a consortium comprising 22 oil-producing nations, announced Sunday an unexpected production cut that will likely give a further boost to oil prices bouncing off their recent lows.

What Happened: The combined cut announced by the oil consortium will be around 1.16 million barrels per day, according to media reports.  Saudi Arabia will voluntarily cut output by 500,000 bpd from May until the end of 2023, in coordination with other OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries, Amena Bakr, chief OPEC correspondent at Energy Intelligence, noted.

The decision to further cut output comes as a surprise, as OPEC+, which is expected to meet on Monday, was widely expected to keep its existing output cuts in place.

The production cuts agreed upon by the other nations were:

  • U.A.E.: 144,000 bpd
  • Oman: 40,000 bpd
  • Kazakhstan: 78 kilobpd
  • Kuwait: 128,000 bpd
  • Iraq: 48,000 bpd
  • Algeria: 48,00 bpd
  • Russia: 500,000 bpd

Saudi energy officials reportedly said that the move was a precautionary measure aimed at supporting the stability of the oil market.

See Also: Best Energy Stocks

Why It’s Important: The West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, which rallied to a high of $123.68 a barrel in mid-June 2022, came off the level and ended the year at $80.47. The commodity came under further pressure this year, as oil dropped to a low of $64.12 on March 20 amid demand concerns stirred by the engulfing economic uncertainty.

Oil has recovered slightly from the lows seen in the past month. It ended Friday’s session at $75.67, up 1.75%.

Recent research by Wood Mackenzie found that oil will likely be a big winner this year, thanks to the demand brought by China’s reopening. The firm estimates that consumption by China alone could account for 1 million barrels per day of the 2.6 mb/d increase in 2023.

China’s reopening, the firm said, would mean there will be no hard landing in 2023. It expects international oil companies to see a crescendo of quarterly profits throughout the year as oil prices surge.

Oil demand in Europe and the U.S. will also likely remain resilient despite slowing economic growth, it said

Higher oil prices could boost the already bloated bottom line of major oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, Chevron Corp. CVX, BP plc BP and Shell plc SHEL. On the flip side, they could also dent consumer spending and, in turn, economic growth, especially at a time when the global economy is grappling with multiple crises.

Gas expenses make up a sizable share of consumers' out-of-pocket expenses, and consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of economic activity.

According to Benzinga Pro data, the United States Oil Fund, LP (USO) settled Friday’s session up 1.71% at $66.44, although it is down over 5% for the year-to-date period.

Read Next: What Is A Commodity

Photo: Shutterstock

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