Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Russia and OPEC Will Increase Oil Production in August

By Rich Smith – Updated Jul 15, 2020 at 3:24PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Production in 2020 will still average much less than in 2019.

Is the coronavirus recession over? OPEC oil producers hope so, and so does Russia. Key members of OPEC today have agreed with Russia that it's safe to once again open their spigots and let the oil flow a bit more freely, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

It's been four months now since a price war broke out between OPEC and its most famous nonmember, Russia, exacerbating a precipitous oil-price decline in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. By April, producers realized their mistake and began cutting back on production.

Oil drill

Image source: Getty Images.

April's oil production cutback, a move led by Saudi Arabia, reduced OPEC's production by a total of about 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d). Today's agreement between OPEC and Russia rolls back that cutback by only 1.6 billion b/d, starting in August.

(Technically, the agreement is to increase production by 2 million b/d, but because some countries have been breaking the rules and overproducing already, OPEC will require those nations to cut their output by 400,000 b/d, subtracting that figure from the overall target of a 2 million b/d increase.)

The Journal report noted that as lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus expire, demand for oil is growing again, making it possible to increase production a bit without flooding the market and driving oil prices lower. A Friday report from the International Energy Agency echoed this view, predicting a slow recovery in oil demand in the second half of this year.

OPEC itself predicts that average oil demand this year will be 8.9 million b/d less than in 2019, but rebound by 7 million b/d in 2021.

Digesting all this news, oil investors sent the price of Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate up more than 2%.  

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
327%
 
S&P 500 Returns
105%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.