The drastic spread of coronavirus, from a single case in China to a global pandemic, has forced governments to take drastic measures.
Besides the toll the pandemic has taken on people, it has also dented economic growth prospects and upended the oil market.
According to abc News, leaders of the organization of the petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) met today Monday, 30 November, to decide how much oil their members should produce as lockdowns related to the pandemic continue to stifle demand for crude.
The OPEC nations, led by Saudi Arabia, had to reach agreement among its member countries and the additional members in the group known as OPEC Plus, which is led by Russia. Members of the OPEC Plus group will meet Tuesday, 1 December.
The industry has seen some hopeful signs, with several drug companies reporting promising results from coronavirus vaccine trials but some experts warn that oil demand may never fully recover because the coronavirus travel restrictions, combined with the steps governments and corporations are taking to reduce the use of fossil fuels to combat global warming, which may put a permanent dent in oil demand.
In addition, the coalition of oil-producing countries has been restricting its output for months, straining its members.
OPEC and its allies agreed to cut production in April by about 10 million barrels per day through July, then in August, as some cities around the world took steps to re-open their economies, the group upped its production so it was cutting 7.7 million barrels per day through year-end. OPEC has planned to increase production in January so that the cuts would be just 6 million barrels per day.
Energy forecasters around the world, including those employed by OPEC, have been lowering their forecasts about how much oil will be needed. One reason mentioned was airline travel, especially for long-haul international trips,which has been drastically reduced and is not expected to rebound for a few years.