OPEC+ Makes Smallest Oil Output Increase in its History

    Photo: The Wall Street Journal

    The Facts

    • The Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) augmented by a consortium of partners including Russia known as OPEC+, announced on Wed. that it would increase oil output by 100K barrels a day from Sept. - the smallest increase in its history.

    • According to analysts, OPEC+'s decision is a setback to US Pres. Biden's latest efforts to encourage Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, to pump more oil to help the US and the global economy.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The ambition of the Biden administration is to make oil supply meet oil demand. In fact, the price of barrels of oil has come down. Earlier this summer the price was about $120/barrel and now it's hovering around $95/barrel. We've seen the fastest decline in gas prices in over a decade. The US policy efforts are on the right track.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This minuscule increase in OPEC+ production is a betrayal of Biden's efforts to bolster US energy security. At an equivalent blip of 86 seconds of total global oil demand, this gesture shows that recent US efforts in the Middle East were fruitless. Saudi Arabia and the oil cartels hold all the cards in the energy poker game.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the price of oil will be at least $92.1 per barrel by December 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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