The 12 country cartel decides to maintain production—as expected
As many experts predicted, OPEC decided to maintain its production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day (MMBOPD) at its June 5 meeting held in Vienna Austria. Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices both fell 1% following the news, according to a note from Baird Equity Research.
In OPEC’s press release following the meeting, the group said “the conference resolved to maintain the 30 MMBOPD ceiling and urged Member Countries to adhere to it.” Some analysts expected OPEC to raise its production cap as the cartel has exceeded its self-imposed limit for the past 12 months.
U.S. jobs still balancing out
The U.S. oil and gas industry took a hit following OPEC’s last meeting in November 2014, when the group initially decided to maintain production. The decision set prices into a downward spiral that forced many companies to cut costs, often through trimming down their workforce.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly employment assessment today as well, showing that oil and gas extraction employment continued to trend lower in the month of May. According to the BLS, employment in oil and gas extraction totaled about 194,000, down 0.5% from April. Jobs in mining other than oil and gas were up slightly at approximately 203,000, 0.2% higher than the month before.
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