Major oil-producing countries are expected to agree on Thursday to boost output in August to meet growing demand and limit recent price rises. The cost of crude oil has surged back to levels last seen in October 2018, which would normally support arguments in favour of boosting production. India, the world’s third-largest consumer of crude, has urged the OPEC+ group of top oil producers to phase out its current regime of cuts and allow prices to fall as inflationary pressure threatens to hobble economic recovery. agencies OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia began to confer Thursday via a teleconference. Later Thursday, from 1500 GMT, they are to be joined by 10 allied oil producing countries led by Russia. Angolan Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo, who currently holds the OPEC presidency, said that although oil demand was expected to rebound strongly in the second half of the year, it was “no time to lower our guard”.