>> A showdown between two of the world's biggest oil producing nations ended with somewhat of a truce. Saudi Arabia and Iran, two leading voices within OPEC, agreed in Friday to authorize a slight increase in global oil production. Reuters' Ernest Scheyder is at the meeting in Vienna.>> It wasn't clear, Alek, if there even would be a deal.
Iran, OPEC's third largest member, had been vowing, up until about Wednesday that there would be no deal. It was being very vocal about it, telling myself and other reporters, in hotel lobbies here in Vienna, that it wasn't going to agree with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to increase output.
Yet, somehow Saudi Arabia and Iran came to an agreement that the rest of OPEC decided to go on with.>> Friday's agreement lacked details, and added an air of confusion as to how much oil is really coming back to market. The uncertainty pushed oil prices even higher, much to the dismay of President Trump.
Before the announcement Trump tweeted, Hope OPEC will increase output substantially. Need to keep prices down! Global oil prices have Surged 70% over the past 12 months to three year highs. The US, China, and India have blamed a previous OPEC agreement to curtail supplies for the spike, but Iran points the finger at US sanctions against Tehran and Venezuela for pushing the world towards a supply crunch.
In the compromise led by the Saudis, OPEC will boost supplies just enough to offset recent shortfalls caused by production outages. One delegate called it the best way for the Saudis and the Iranians to say they won. Consumers however won't see it that way. They are likely to keep feeling squeezed at the pump for the foreseeable future.