Analysts said concerns about weaker demand for energy, as economic growth slowed and central banks raised interest rates to fight inflation, also might have discouraged the cartel from raising production significantly.
Damien Courvalin, the head of energy research at Goldman Sachs, said the decision was a reflection of the significant uncertainty about the state of the oil market, including the risk of a recession and lower demand from China.
“Is that an environment where you’d want to do a lot more?” he said. “From their perspective, it’s a justifiable, cautious approach.” He also cited risks of falling production from Russia, Libya and Iraq.
The move also reflected constraints on the group’s ability to deliver more production, analysts said. Many of its 23 members are already missing production targets because of a lack of investment in production capacity. OPEC Plus said in a statement that availability of spare capacity was “severely limited” because of chronic underinvestment in the oil sector.
It’s still unclear what effect Western sanctions will have on Russia’s oil production, said Caroline Bain, the chief commodities economist at Capital Economics. Output could fall significantly over the next year, not just as Russia struggles to find buyers for its crude but also because of the lack of access to Western technology, spare parts or financing in some cases.
But increased output from OPEC and its allies over the coming months, combined with lower demand because of a looming recession in Europe and a slowdown in the United States, would help drive prices lower, Ms. Bain said.
“We’ve not only got lower growth on the horizon, but we’ve also got high inflation, which is going to eat into disposable incomes and give people less money to spend on discretionary goods and travel,” she said. “If you’re a family of four, you maybe won’t go for a drive to the seaside because it’s going to cost so much.”
Peter Baker contributed reporting.
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