The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday committed its fractious members to their first oil production limits in eight years. Now comes the hard part.
OPEC has agreed to cut production by about 1.2 million barrels per day, or about 4.5 percent of current production, to 32.5 million barrels per day.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia faces the unenviable tasks of policing cartel members and keeping crude prices within a range that will relieve pressure on oil-producing countries' economies, but which will dissuade non-OPEC producers from increasing output.
Analysts broadly expect an agreement to boost oil prices above $50 a barrel and keep them there. Prices have wavered between about $40 and $54 since the spring.
Commodity watchers also believe the deal will set up a long-awaited balance between oil supply and demand in the first half of next year. The market has been oversupplied for more than two years, by as much as 2 million barrels a day.