Russia, Saudi Arabia Agree To Extend OPEC/non-OPEC Crude Pact, But Cuts Undecided: Putin

- Dec 03, 2018 -

London — Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend the OPEC/non-OPEC market management coalition beyond its expiry at the end of the year, but have not determined whether new output cuts are warranted, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

There is no final decision regarding volumes, but we, together with Saudi Arabia, will do this," Putin said, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin. "Whatever the final figure may appear during this joint decision, we agreed that we will monitor the situation of the market and promptly react to it."

The official Saudi Press Agency on Saturday said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

"During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of Saudi-Russian cooperation in various fields and ways to develop it, including the petroleum field and rebalancing the markets," the SPA statement said.

OPEC and 10 non-OPEC partners, led by Russia, are set to meet Thursday and Friday in Vienna to discuss output policy.

The coalition implemented a 1.8 million b/d production cut agreement starting January 2017, which has been extended multiple times, to clear a supply gut.

The coalition began unwinding the cuts in June in anticipation of US sanctions targeting Iran. But with the US having granted sanctions waivers to eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil and prices plunging in the last two months, speculation is rife that quotas may be reinstated or even deeper cuts enacted.

However, Saudi Arabia is under pressure from the US, a key ally, to prevent prices from rising, which could complicate the talks. --Herman Wang.

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