OPEC+ oil producers on Thursday agreed to voluntary output cuts approaching two million barrels per day (bpd) for early next year led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut, delegates told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+, who pump more than 40 per cent of the world’s oil, held a virtual meeting on Thursday to discuss 2024 output amid concerns the market faces a potential surplus.

Their output of some 43 million bpd already reflects cuts of about five million bpd aimed at supporting prices and stabilising the market.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters the latest agreement would involve voluntary cuts approaching two million bpd including Saudi Arabia extending a voluntary cut of one million bpd it has had in place since July.

Russia will cut 500,000 bpd and others will also contribute cuts, one source said.

Algeria’s energy minister told Reuters his country had agreed to curb its output by 50,000 bpd.

Oil prices fell after rising by more than one per cent earlier in the session after OPEC+ producers agreed to the cuts. Benchmark Brent crude for February futures were down three per cent to below $81 a barrel at 1634 GMT. The front-month January contract is due to expire on Thursday.

OPEC+is focused on lower output with prices down from near $98 in late September and concerns brewing over weaker economic growth in 2024 and expectations of a supply surplus.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) this month forecast a slowdown in 2024 demand growth as “the last phase of the pandemic economic rebound dissipates and as advancing energy efficiency gains, expanding electric vehicle fleets and structural factors reassert themselves.”

Yet OPEC+ sources this week said discussions had been proving difficult, as evidenced by the group postponing their meeting which was scheduled for November 26. Sources said the delay was sparked by disagreement over output quotas for African producers.

The OPEC+ meeting coincides with the opening of the United Nations’ COP28 climate summit being hosted by OPEC member the United Arab Emirates.

Reporting by Alex Lawler, Olesya Astakhova, Maha El Dahan and Ahmad Ghaddar; editing by Jason Neelyfor Reuters.