(Bloomberg) -- Oil held steady as OPEC+ agreed on a compromise deal to gradually ease output curbs beginning early next year.Futures in New York were little changed near $45 a barrel as meeting delegates reached an agreement for the cartel to add 500,000 barrels a day to the market in January. Ministers will then hold monthly consultations to determine how to adjust production in subsequent months, the delegate said, asking not to be named because the information was private.The agreement took place against the backdrop of an oil futures curve that is suggesting additional production is needed. Brent’s nearest futures are at a premium to later ones, a structure known as backwardation that indicates tight supply. Meanwhile, the so-called December-red-December spreads for both WTI and Brent have recently moved to backwardation and furthered their rally on Thursday.“These are minor increases in production, they’re not rolling back the entire cut,” said Gary Cunningham, director of account management and research at Tradition Energy. “Meanwhile, euphoria from a vaccine eventually helping support economic conditions is helping offset production increases.”The market had widely expected OPEC+ to extend current production cuts by a quarter, but that option ran into obstacles earlier this week amid a clash Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Maintaining the delicate balance the oil market finds itself in has been a complex task, with demand recovering and varying speeds worldwide and prospects for a vaccine buoying the outlook further out even as near-term risks persist. A potential increase in supply could force the market to “sell the news” as investors were expecting a three-to-six month extension of existing cuts, Citigroup analysts including Francesco Martoccia wrote in a report.A gradual easing falls short of what had been widely expected before this week: a full three-month delay to the scheduled January output increase. Yet the compromise deal also avoids a breakdown of OPEC+ unity, which had become a growing risk after days of tense talks exposed a new rift between core cartel members, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.“Ministers should have aimed to do more, not less, than the three-month delay if inventories are to normalize within the next 18 months,” Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Standard Chartered, wrote in a note. “The prospect is for a stronger first half 2021 due to extensive vaccine roll-outs and more government stimulus. However, six months of poor data with limited inventory reduction will likely have to be navigated first.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.