MORE THAN one month after the onset of a bitter price war, the world’s biggest oil producers came to a truce. On April 12th the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and its allies, led by Russia, said they would limit production by nearly 10m barrels a day from May through June, the largest cut ever. What is more, the countries said they would continue to restrain production, albeit less strictly, for two full years.

The historic scope of the deal is a testament to the severity of oil’s current crisis. Covid-19 has prompted an unprecedented plunge in oil demand, as workers stay home, planes are grounded and economic activity screeches to a halt. That has threatened oil companies the

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