VIENNA (AP) — The Latest on OPEC’s talks on extending its production cut agreement (all times local):
The price of oil is down further after OPEC and other nations said they had agreed to extend their production cuts for another nine months.
The U.S. benchmark for crude was down $1.67 a barrel, or 3.3 percent, at $49.69 on Thursday. Some investors seem to have expected a longer extension.
There is also some skepticism among experts that the countries reining in production will be able to push up prices in the longer term. That’s because U.S. shale oil producers have taken advantage of the uptick in prices since last year to ramp up production. That, in turn, is increasing supply and keeping a lid on price gains.
OPEC and other oil-producing nations have extended their output cuts for an additional nine months in an effort to shore up prices.
The decision, announced Thursday by a high-level meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers, means that the reductions of 1.8 million barrels a day agreed on in November will stay in place until March.
But any uptick in prices may be modest and temporary.
The alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC countries faces competition from U.S. shale producers. Many have returned to the market since crude prices have risen from last year’s lows to over $50 a barrel, and more are set to resume operations if crude prices go even higher.
That could increase supplies and push down prices.
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