OPEC+ Production Cut Threatens Gas Price Spike Ahead of Midterms 

OPEC+ will hold a critical meeting tomorrow in Vienna that will ultimately decide whether to cut oil production, a move that would drive up the price of oil

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known collectively as OPEC+, are expected to cut output by more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) at their first in-person meeting since 2020 on Wednesday, according to OPEC sources.

Energy industry analysts say the cut could be as much as 2 million barrels per day. This move would likely contribute to higher gas prices in the United States and an overall rise in inflation more generally.  

If this does happen, it will be a diplomatic blow to the White House, which has been working to get Saudi Arabia and other big oil producers to keep production up as international sanctions on Russia have raised energy prices across the world. 

President Joe Biden encouraged OPEC+ during the summer to increase its production to bring down energy prices. After Biden visited Saudi Arabia in July, OPEC+ raised its oil output levels by 100,000 barrels a day beginning in September.  

Some analysts wonder if this move is a bit of payback from OPEC+ after other moves by the White House may have irritated the bloc. 

In July, the U.S. made its fifth emergency sale from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve since November in a bid to keep energy prices at manageable levels, competing with OPEC+ in the process. 

Oil prices rose today, Tuesday, on the expectation that OPEC+ may agree to a large cut in crude output. Brent crude was up 79 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $89.65 per barrel by 1054 GMT after gaining more than 4 percent the previous day. U.S. crude futures rose 60 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $84.23 a barrel, having gained more than 5 percent the previous day.

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