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Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Khalid Al-Falih Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General of Nigeria, attend a news conference after an OPEC meeting. Photo: Ronald Zak / AP

A few more observations on yesterday's move by OPEC and Russia to extend their production-limiting deal for nine months through the end of 2018...

Markets: Via Reuters, oil prices are up somewhat today on the heels of the deal, but really the expectation of the extension has been baked into the cake, so there likely would have been sharp dive had the agreement collapsed.

Cloudy future: An analytical piece out this morning from Bloomberg's team points out that the agreement left "big questions unanswered," including:

  • "If the cuts succeed in meeting their stated goal of bringing global inventories back down to their five-year average level, how will the deal be unwound? And if they don't, will the deal be extended in perpetuity?"

OPEC and Russia are still reckoning with the U.S. shale surge. Bloomberg notes that while the production deal has helped to elevate prices, it creates a "quandary" for OPEC and allied producers about how to keep those prices high without igniting even greater shale growth.

Russia's posture: A big question going forward is the ability of powerhouse producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to sustain unity, especially as Russian companies have reportedly chafed at the continued limits.

  • "This meeting was largely devoid of the witty banter and joint red carpet appearances between [Saudi oil minister Khalid] al-Falih and his Russian counterpart (and official meeting co-chair) Alexander Novak that characterized the May meeting, despite protestations that the relationship remained robust," RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft said in a note last night.
  • To be sure: Barclays' analysts, in a note this morning, downplay the Russian corporate grumbling and its potential impact going forward, noting: "the geopolitical incentives to remain engaged with OPEC and its leading countries far outweigh the costs of frustrated companies."

What's next: The agreement text highlights that producers will take stock of where things stand mid-year.

  • While analysts have pointed out that this kind of review would have occurred at the mid-year OPEC meeting regardless, the decision to emphasize it in the communique is still sign that the status of the cooperation is subject to change.

Go deeper: Platts has a comprehensive rundown of the action in Vienna and the outcome here.

Go deeper

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has be charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

4 hours ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

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