OPEC set to pro­long oil out­put cuts af­ter Moscow-riyadh deal

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

OPEC and its al­lies are set this week to pro­long oil out­put cuts to fur­ther boost prices, af­ter the two big­gest play­ers Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia agreed to do so.

Ministers from the 14-na­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (OPEC) met in Vi­enna on Mon­day to discuss out­put, be­fore gath­er­ing a day later for OPEC+, a group of 24 oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries that in­cludes Rus­sia.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and OPEC car­tel king­pin Saudi Ara­bia agreed Satur­day on the side­lines of the G20 in Osaka to ex­tend their deal which aims to keep oil out­put low ow­ing to abun­dant world sup­plies.

“We will ex­tend this deal, Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia. For how long? We will think about that. For six or nine months. It is pos­si­ble that it could be up to nine months,” Putin said.

OPEC and its oil-pro­ducer al­lies de­cided in De­cem­ber to trim daily crude out­put by 1.2 mil­lion bar­rels.

The reduction con­trib­uted to oil prices soar­ing by al­most one-third in the first quar­ter of 2019, boost­ing pre­cious rev­enues for OPEC and NON-OPEC mem­bers alike.

The car­tel mean­while re­mains on red alert over es­ca­lat­ing Us-iran ten­sions that have fu­eled re­cent strong oil-price gains – but it and other pro­duc­ers are un­likely to end out­put cut­backs just yet.

Saudi Ara­bia’s in­flu­en­tial en­ergy min­is­ter Khalid al-falih, ar­riv­ing in Vi­enna early on Sun­day, de­clared that he wanted the cut­backs which be­gan in Jan­uary to be ex­tended by nine more months.

“We have to talk about it with the other ministers. My pref­er­ence will be nine [months],” he told re­porters. That would ex­tend the deal to March 2020.

United Arab Emi­rates en­ergy min­is­ter Suhail al-mazrouei, upon ar­rival in the Austrian cap­i­tal, voiced his sup­port to an ex­ten­sion. “We look for­ward to a pos­i­tive meet­ing, my view is that an ex­ten­sion is needed given the cur­rent con­di­tions of the mar­ket,” he told re­porters.

Quizzed about the so-called “pre-deal” un­veiled in Osaka, Mazrouei replied: “Each coun­try’s voice counts and each coun­try can veto a de­ci­sion.” wang­[email protected] glob­al­times.com.cn

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