The agreement was reached Thursday at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
) and key allies
, known as OPEC+
. Global oil prices have fallen more than
20% since late October
Brent crude futures
, the global benchmark
, had soared about
70% since the beginning of the year
, but began falling in November when the United States and other major oil consuming nations agreed to release millions of barrels from their strategic reserves to try to cool gasoline prices and prevent a further boost to inflation
The losses accelerated as Covid-19 cases surged in Europe and the Omicron variant emerged as a potential new threat to economic activity.
Although falling crude prices may have OPEC and Russia on the back foot for now, their influence over the oil market is only set to increase longer term as their share of global production rises.
According to estimates from the International Energy Agency, OPEC and Russia could account for 58% of global oil supply by 2050, 从 46.5% 去年, as other countries — including the United States — invest less in exploration and production as shareholders demand greater financial discipline. Pressure from investors is also growing to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis.
— This is a developing story and will be updated.