Oil prices are up almost 5% after Saudi Arabia and other major producers vowed to cut production.
Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was up 4.85% early on Monday to $83.77 per barrel after it was announced that production would be cut by 1.15 million barrels per day from May until the end of the year.
The resulting price increases will take some time to filter through to forecourts but will eventually add to the difficulties facing many in the UK during the cost of living crisis.
Rising oil prices will also present a further challenge to central banks trying to keep inflation in check.
There are also concerns that higher oil prices will bolster Vladimir Putin’s war chest as the Ukraine war continues.
A number of countries have cut down on the energy they import from Russia since it invaded Ukraine but, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Russia is still exporting oil, mainly to China and India.
Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, said in a report: “This will create both political waves across Europe and even higher general inflation in the USA, leading to renewed pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep hiking rates aggressively.”
Kevin Book, managing director of Clearview Energy Partners LLC, said that it could take as much as a year for the cuts to take effect.
‘It’s a big deal… you could have a very significant price response’
However, even though the production cut accounts for only a small amount of the world’s daily usage, the impact on prices could be big, he added.
“It’s a big deal because of the way oil prices work,” he said.
“You are in a market that is relatively balanced.
“You take a small amount away, depending on what demand does, you could have a very significant price response.”
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‘Stabilising the oil market’
The Saudi Energy Ministry has said its cuts are a “precautionary measure” aimed at stabilising the oil market.
Cuts were also announced by Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Algeria and Oman.
Russia’s deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said his country would extend a voluntary cut of 500,000 barrels until the end of the year, extending a reduction announced in February.
The countries are all members of the OPEC+ group, which includes OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), Russia and others.
OPEC itself has not commented.