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Opec approval of minuscule oil output rise is insult to Biden, say analysts

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The Opec cartel and its allies have agreed to increase the production of crude by 100,000 barrels a day, in what analysts have described as an insult directed at the US president, Joe Biden.Ministers from the 13-member group and its allies, led by Russia and known as Opec+, met on Thursday at a closed-door video meeting and rubber-stamped an increase in output that is the equivalent of 86 seconds, or 0.1%, of global oil demand.The minuscule boost from September is understood to be seen as a snub to Biden, who visited influential Opec member Saudi Arabia last month to encourage the Gulf state to increase output to assist the ailing global economy.Responding to the increase, Raad Alkadiri, the managing director for energy, climate, and sustainability at Eurasia Group, said: “That is so little as to be meaningless.

From a physical standpoint it is a marginal blip. As a political gesture it is almost insulting.”Brent crude oil prices increased to $102 (£83.92) per barrel, a jump of $3, after Opec’s decision.Explaining its reasons for the small increase, Opec members said the “severely limited availability of excess capacity” meant they had to proceed with “great caution” in response to “severe supply disruptions”.It added that “chronic underinvestment in the oil sector has reduced excess capacities” in all major sectors.The group also sounded a note of caution that “insufficient investment” in the upstream sector – finding new oil reserves – could negatively impact the supply of oil “in a timely manner” to meet increased demand beyond 2023.Oil output has previously been increased by Opec and its allies by about 430,000-650,000 barrels a month but some members of the cartel have exhausted their output potential.The group had

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