Major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia have decided to keep crude oil production next month at near current levels.

International crude oil prices have risen sharply as a result of a large postponement of production growth amid expected pick-up in demand.

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) led by Saudi Arabia and non-member oil producing countries such as Russia decided in May last year to cooperate to reduce production in response to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, and the crude oil price I have been trying to support it.

After that, expectations for economic recovery increased, crude oil prices rose to the level before the spread of infection, gasoline prices in Japan also rose, and the focus was on whether oil-producing countries would make a large-scale increase in production. It was.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Sheikh Abdulaziz, said at the outset, "There is no doubt that the market is improving, but the uncertainty of recovery has not diminished," the major oil-producing countries met online on the 4th. He acknowledged that the environment surrounding crude oil remains uncertain.

And other major oil-producing countries other than Russia and Kazakhstan, which have insisted on increasing production next month, have decided to continue cutting production at their current levels.

In addition, Saudi Arabia will continue its voluntary production cuts.

WTI futures prices in the New York market, which has become an international indicator, temporarily rose by more than 5% as crude oil demand is expected to pick up and a large-scale increase in production was postponed, since January last year. The high price has been updated.

Expert "It is unclear whether prices will rise"

Crude oil prices fell sharply last spring due to the impact of the spread of the new coronavirus on the global economy.

Since then, oil-producing countries have cooperated to reduce production, and demand has picked up, so the upward trend has continued recently, and gasoline prices and other prices are rising in Japan as well.

Regarding the outlook for crude oil prices, Daisuke Hine, chief researcher at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, said, "Economic activities remain sluggish as regulations such as restrictions on going out remain and vaccine supply is limited to people with chronic diseases. It is unclear whether crude oil prices will rise further in the future. "

In addition, Hine said, "In the trend of a carbon-free society, if crude oil prices rise, it will be easier to switch to alternative energy. Aiming for high crude oil prices is not always a good idea for oil-producing countries. It will be important to keep prices in line with the actual state of the economy, "he said, saying that oil-producing countries will gradually increase production while observing trends in demand.