US oil prices rose to the highest level in seven years after Opec and its allies declined to accelerate plans to increase crude production, snubbing calls from the White 1–louse to help tackle a growing global energy crunch.
Europe and Asia have been gripped by tight energy supplies that have pushed natural gas and coal prices to the highest level on record, while oil prices have been rising steadily as the world economy has rebounded from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the expanded Opec+ group, which has included Russia since 2016, said on Monday it would stick with a plan formulated this summer of only gradually increasing oil production by 400,000 barrels a day each month, despite warnings of a growing deficit between supply and demand.
The decision threatens to raise tensions between large energy consumers such as the US, Europe and China, which fear energy cost inflation could derail their economic recovery, and the expanded producer group, which controls more than half of global oil supplies.
US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate jumped by 3 per cent after the meeting to more than $78 a barrel for the first time since 2014, while Brent crude, the international marker, rose to $82 a barrel for the first time in three years.