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Saudi Arabia Says No Talks on OPEC+

Saudi Arabia Says No Talks on OPEC+

Saturday, 28 March, 2020 - 05:30
FILE PHOTO: An OPEC sign outside the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Austria, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia said on Friday it was not in talks with Russia to balance oil markets despite an attempt by Moscow to increase the members of the so-called OPEC+.

“There have been no contacts between Saudi Arabia and Russia energy ministers over any increase in the number of OPEC+ countries, nor any discussion of a joint agreement to balance oil markets,” an official from Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry was quoted as saying by Reuters in reference to the wider grouping of oil producers.

The comment came after a senior Russian official said on Friday that a larger number of oil producers could cooperate with OPEC and Russia.

“Joint actions by countries are needed to restore the (global) economy ... They (joint actions) are also possible in the OPEC+ deal’s framework,” said Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.

A three-year deal between OPEC and Russia broke down earlier this month after Moscow declined to support bigger output curbs, arguing that it was too early to estimate the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.

Based on contacts "we see that if the number of OPEC+ members will increase and other countries will join there is a possibility of a joint agreement to balance oil markets,” said Dmitriev.

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