OPEC ministers agree to raise oil output  

OPEC ministers reached a deal on Friday to raise oil output which remained capped to balance the market and boost prices for the past 18 months. The oil producer group did not, however, say by how much the supplies are going to be increased. It is hoped the agreement is likely to add 600,000 to 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the market to help lower oil prices that had soared recently. The agreement came after week-long talks of member countries at OPEC headquarters (pictured) in Vienna, Austria. The oil plan will be formally adopted on Saturday in a meeting of 14 OPEC and 10 non-OPEC countries. Top oil producer Saudi Arabia on Friday convinced reluctant producers like Iran, Iraq and Venezuela to support an increase in output. Global oil production currently stands at around 98 million bpd. Oil output has fallen due to the ongoing crises in Venezuela and Libya. Iran does not favour rise in oil production as it is highly dependent on oil revenues. OPEC conference chairman Suhail al Mazrouei said an agreement was reached because everyone was focused on oil markets, not politics. Despite OPEC’s decision, benchmark crude oil prices in the United States and Europe rose on Friday.