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Oil-producing nations agree deal to control prices

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Oil-producing nations

Oil-producing nations have agreed to increase production to lower prices and relieve pressure on the global economy.

The Opec cartel and partners such as Russia will increase supplies starting in August after prices rose to their highest in two and a half years during the pandemic.

The move should affect gasoline prices, which have also risen sharply.

The price of Brent crude has risen 43% this year to nearly $74 a barrel.

Last year, OPEC and its partners cut production by a record 10 million barrels per day (bpd) amid a pandemic-induced drop in demand and collapsing prices.

This year, however, the price of oil rose sharply as the economy reopened, contributing to higher inflation in some countries and threatening to stall the global recovery.

Oil producers sought to soften production cuts, but a spat between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates threatened to derail those plans earlier in July.

Abu Dhabi blocked a proposal by Riyadh and Moscow to extend production limits until 2022 after they rejected its demand to produce more oil.

The unusually public dispute between close allies has raised concerns about the stability of the Opec + cartel, which controls more than 50 percent of the world’s oil supply.

Under the new agreement, Opec and the partners agreed to increase supplies by an additional two million barrels a day from August through December 2021 to help stabilize the market.

Higher production quotas were also agreed upon for several members beginning in May 2022, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and Iraq.

The cartel said that by September 2022 it would phase out the oil production cuts it imposed last year.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Russia 24 public television channel that cartel members were “constructive” and found a “consensus.”

“The pandemic has not yet been overcome, but we see that thanks to vaccination around the world, demand for our products is recovering, as is the use of cars and airplanes,” he said.

“So it’s very important for us to live up to our responsibilities and ensure that the global economy recovers.”

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