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OPEC Plus remains on track with plans for a modest increase in oil production.

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When officials from OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing countries met via video conference on Thursday, they had a lot to worry about. Those concerns included whether the emergence of a new strain of the coronavirus could torpedo the budding economic recovery, and the restlessness of the United States and key Asian customers, including China, over high oil prices.

In the end, the group known as OPEC Plus decided to take the easy road and stick to a previously agreed program to gradually bring oil to the market. They decided in January to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day, just like in previous months.

But to show concerned oil markets that they are ready to change that plan if necessary, the producers said in a press release that their meeting would “stay in session” so that the producers could monitor the market and “make immediate adjustments if necessary.” “.

Maintaining the planned hike will likely ease friction with the Biden administration, which last month orchestrated a release of oil stocks from the US strategic petroleum reserve in tandem with smaller steps by other major oil consumers. And the decision also proved to be a signal that it remains unclear what impact the Omicron variant will have on the global economy.

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