A drop in oil prices is a good sign for consumers, but current economic conditions and the coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult to see who stands to benefit.
After an unfruitful meeting at OPEC headquarters in Vienna on Friday, Saudi Arabia failed to convince Russia to cut output. In retaliation, the country decided on Saturday to slash prices and increase output.
Prices are falling as Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-producing countries argue how much to cut production in order to prop up prices.
Prices have held relatively steady since the last OPEC meeting, with a barrel of Brent crude hovering around the $60 mark, apart from a spike in September sparked by attacks on Saudi oil installations.
OPEC published an outlook that suggests a shrinking oil market and lower oil demand growth. The organisation is being challenged by increased US shale oil production output and is curbing its own output to keep prices from dropping too low.
High-level trade discussions between the two sides are set to start later on Thursday. But, according to media reports the pair had made no progress in preliminary, lower-level talks.
Saudi's new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman says Riyadh is "proceeding with it cautiously ... we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors."
OPEC members’ net oil export revenues rose to $711 billion in 2018, marking a 32 percent increase in one year.
The current deal to support prices reduced production by 1.2 million barrels per day starting from January 1 for six months, and will now run into next year with the extension.
OPEC and its oil-producer allies decided in December to trim daily crude output by 1.2 million barrels after prices tanked at the end of last year on fears of slower global growth.
Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has regretted that some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have turned the group into a political forum.
“Gasoline prices are coming down. I called up OPEC, I said you’ve got to bring them down,” Trump told reporters.
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