A meeting of the world's biggest oil producers is shaping up to be a contentious event, but analysts think the fractious group will reach consensus on their historic agreement to manage the crude market.
OPEC and other exporters including Russia appear poised to ease voluntary production limits, which have helped shrink a global oil glut since they went into effect in January 2017. The deal isn't set to expire until the end of the year, but rising prices fueled largely by geopolitical risks have forced the producers to consider their exit strategy.
The agreement calls on OPEC and other producers to keep 1.8 million barrels a day off the market, but they've actually been cutting deeper than that.
OPEC meetings are closely watched because the producer group pumps about 40 percent of the world's oil, so its policy decisions can have major implications across the energy mix. President Donald Trump, perhaps wary of the average U.S. gasoline price hovering near $3 a gallon, has recently blamed OPEC for oil prices, which recently hit 3½-year highs.
Next week's meeting is also thornier than past gatherings because OPEC's current production cuts are not limited to the 14-nation cartel. Russia and several other producers have also been throttling back output, and top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia needs to keep the young alliance together, or its ability to manage the market would be diminished.