The cartel of oil-producing countries known as OPEC has persuaded 11 non-member countries to slash oil production as a way to raise the low price of oil, which has caused financial stress for the oil producers.
OPEC President and Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said Saturday that those non-member countries agreed to cut production by a little more than 550,000 barrels per day as a way to stabilize the market and encourage industry investment.
Production cuts in Russia are expected to make up the bulk of the reduction. According to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the country will cut production by 300,000 barrels per day.
“Today’s deal will speed up the oil market stabilization, reduce volatility, attract new investments,” he said.
The other countries taking part in the deal are: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Sudan and South Sudan.
The price of oil has fallen sharply over the past two years, from more than $90 per barrel in early 2014 to around $40 at the beginning of this year.
The steep decline in the price of oil came as Saudi Arabia increased its output in a bid to undercut the profits of U.S. shale firms, which have higher production costs.
On November 30, OPEC announced that it, too, would cut member oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day. News of the production cut caused oil prices to rise 6 percent, closing Friday at $51.58 per barrel.
Source: Voice of America.