Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

US senators reintroduce bill to stop Opec output cuts

REUTERS/Lisa Leutner
Saudi Arabia has said voluntary output cuts of 1.66m bpd on top of the existing 2m bpd cuts were a precautionary measure to improve market stability

A group of bipartisan US senators said they have reintroduced legislation to pressure the Opec oil production group to stop making output cuts.

The so-called “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels” (Nopec) bill was reintroduced by senators Chuck Grassley, a Republican, and Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, as well as others on the judiciary committee.

If passed by the committee, both chambers of Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, Nopec would change US antitrust law to revoke the sovereign immunity that has protected Opec+ members and their national oil companies from lawsuits over price collusion.

Several attempts to pass Nopec over more than two decades have long worried Opec’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia, leading Riyadh to lobby hard every time a version of the bill has come up.

The bill passed the committee 17-4 last year after the Opec+ producer group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed to cut output by two million barrels per day but moved no further.

“The oil cartel and its member countries need to know that we are committed to stopping their anti-competitive behavior,” said Grassley, a supporter of the corn-based ethanol fuel industry.

Klobuchar said: “Current law has made the justice department powerless to stop the 13 largest oil-producing countries from manipulating prices and driving up costs.”