Despite last-minute speculation that Opec would raise its widely flouted production ceiling by 1.5mn b/d to 31.5mn b/d, the end result was the continuation of the status quo. Though the 4 December meeting overran by more than an hour, Opec Secretary-General ‘Abd Allah al-Badri said the decision was taken to postpone any such changes until the next Opec meeting, in June 2016. Opting to roll-over the production ceiling, Opec also extended the mandate of Mr Badri until June.

The decision...