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

Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.