OPEC, Russia to cut oil output, despite Trump pressure

OPEC members and Russia agreed to cut oil output on Friday in a deal that seeks to end an emerging supply glut driving prices down.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will curb oil output by a total of 1.2 million barrels a day, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal is still under negotiation. OPEC members would cut production by 800,000 barrels, according to the Journal, while Russia and its allies would be responsible for the rest.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, jumped nearly $2 on Friday, up close to 4 percent at $53.41.

Crude oil prices sank on Thursday after a closely watched OPEC meeting in Vienna ended with no guarantee from major producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut output, according to Saudi’s energy minister.

“We hope to conclude something by the end of the day tomorrow,” the Saudi minister, Khalid al-Falih, told reporters, according to Reuters. “We have to get the non-OPEC countries on board.”

On Thursday, concern over an emerging supply glut has decimated oil prices – West Texas Intermediate fell more than 2 percent to $51.56 per barrel -- but President Trump has pushed for cheaper oil, urging other countries to refrain from output cuts.

“Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!”

According to Reuters, al-Falih said all options were on the table if OPEC failed to reach a deal: The organization and its allies could cut output anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd). He also said that a 1 million bpd production cut was acceptable.

Data released from the International Energy Agency revealed that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia are producing crude at record levels, causing supply to surpass demand and lowering prices.