July 2 (UPI) -- As expected, OPEC has decided to extend crude oil production cuts until March, an effort to keep prices steady.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will finalize the deal Tuesday when it meets with Russia and other non-OPEC members. The countries agreed to hold back oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day, as they have since 2017.
The goal is to keep prices from sliding as U.S. shale production continues to skyrocket. The United States is now the world's top oil producer, pumping an average of 12.1 million barrels per day. That means U.S. imports from OPEC have declined to the lowest level in three decades.
Oil prices rallied early Monday but finished the day up 1.1 percent as some of the earlier gains were lost.
The Trump administration unsuccessfully lobbied for Saudi Arabia to increase production to compensate for U.S. sanctions that drastically reduced Iran's crude oil exports.
Iran has been critical of fellow OPEC members who would consider ratcheting up production under orders from the United States, saying that would lead to the death of OPEC. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Monday this was done to prevent extreme price volatility.
At Monday's meeting in Vienna, OPEC also reached a compromise on a long-term partnership with Russia despite objections from Iran. Russian oil minister Alexander Novak met al-Falih on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan last week.