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Oil Prices Spike As OPEC+ Panel Still Favors Cautious Production Increase

After slumping by more than 3 percent on Wednesday, oil prices returned to rallying early on Thursday as the first reports from the OPEC+ meetings indicated that the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) supports keeping the current cautious approach to easing the cuts.

As of 10:00 a.m. EDT, WTI Crude was up 2.37% at $82.78 and Brent Crude had jumped by 2.43% to $83.98.

The JMMC, which gives a recommendation for oil policy to the full ministerial OPEC+ meeting that begins shortly, "supports no change to Opec policy," Amena Bakr, Deputy Bureau Chief & Chief Opec Correspondent at Energy Intelligence, reported, citing sources.

The “no change” in policy would mean that the JMMC would recommend to the OPEC+ ministers to stick to the current pace of easing the production cuts, which is increasing supply by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) every month. The OPEC+ group is meeting online to discuss production levels and quotas for the month of December, amid heightened pressure from the United States to open the taps and ease the prices.

The refusal of OPEC+ to increase oil production is affecting America's working class, U.S. President Joe Biden said at a news conference following the G20 meeting in Rome this past weekend.

"I do think that the idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia and other major producers are not going to pump more oil so people can have gasoline to get to and from work, for example, is — is — is not — is not right," President Biden said on Sunday.

Some of the heavyweight participants in the OPEC+ deal—including top OPEC producer and the world's largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia—have already signaled they would rather keep the current pace of easing the cuts. Two other major oil producers in the Middle East, Kuwait, and Iraq, said earlier this week that they support plans for a 400,000 bpd increase in production as an adequate and sufficient intervention to meet demand and balance the market.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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