Latest updates: Oil prices hit 3-year high as Opec agrees to stick to production plan

Oil prices hit their highest level in at least three years after Opec and its allies agreed to stick to existing oil production plans, resisting calls to help dampen the surge in oil prices. energy to protect economic recovery.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, rose 3% on Monday to trade as low as $ 81.48 a barrel, a new three-year high. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, rose 1.5% to $ 77.26 per barrel, the highest level since 2014.

The oil group, which has cooperated with Russia and other countries under the Opec + banner since 2016, agreed this summer to add 400,000 bpd of production each month until the end of 2022.

After a meeting on Monday, he decided to stick with the plan, pushing back calls to increase production further and lower prices, despite a growing energy crisis as other commodities such as natural gas rise. skyrocketing to record levels.

People familiar with the talks said Saudi Arabia – the group’s de facto leader – had been keen to stick to the existing plan, arguing that oil prices had not risen substantially in recent months, so even that other energy raw materials had increased.

The group wanted to appear consistent in its decision-making, giving long-term directions to the oil market rather than instinctively increasing production that it may have to reverse if the pandemic results in further restrictions that hit demand this winter.

“The group wants to signal market stability and a clear path for production,” said Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects, a consultancy firm.

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