Pressure on OPEC+ eases amid oil demand fears

Major oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia meet Thursday with less pressure to open tabs more widely than planned as China’s Covid lockdown threatens demand.

The meeting on Thursday also comes as the European Union is eyeing a ban on Russia oil imports, following similar moves by the United States, Britain and Canada.

The alliance known as OPEC+ slashed output in 2020 when oil prices crashed due to the pandemic.

When demand picked up again last year as countries emerged from lockdowns, the coalition began to modestly increase production each month.

But the United States has led calls for OPEC+ to raise output even further as prices soared to new heights earlier this year.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices rocketing higher and they have mostly remained above $100 a barrel. Despite the pressure, analysts expect the group to stick to the usual increase of around 400,000 barrels per day.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday but are still high with Brent above $106.

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