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OPEC+: Mediation Attempts Fail

Monday 16 March 2020

LONDON, MOSCOW (Reuters, TASS) - An OPEC and non-OPEC technical meeting planned for Wednesday in Vienna has been called off as attempts to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Russia after the collapse of their supply cut pact made no progress, sources said on Monday.

A deal to cut oil output struck by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia — a grouping known as OPEC+ that pumps over 40% of the world’s oil — is due to expire at the end of this month.

The panel, called the Joint Technical Committee, advises OPEC+ oil ministers.

OPEC+ agreement participants failed to decide on further oil production cuts in view of the falling demand due to the coronavirus spread during talks on March 6. All the limitations of oil production will be lifted from April 1, 2020. Moscow has already stated the possibility of quickly scaling production up by 200-300 thousand barrels daily and by 500,000 barrels per day over time.

Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the Russian President has not planned meetings with Russian oil producers and leaders of Saudi Arabia but such contacts can be promptly agreed upon if required.

There have been some attempts by other OPEC members to mediate between the Saudis and Russians but so far they seem fruitless and sources say it is hard for both sides to reach a compromise now. “It is difficult now for the Saudis to back down”, said one OPEC source to Reuters.

There have been some attempts by other OPEC members to mediate between the Saudis and Russians but so far they seem fruitless and sources say it is hard for both sides to reach a compromise now.

In his press conference, Peskov noted that the situation on financial markets was predictable: “There were expectations and forecasts that the period of lower oil and energy prices would come.”


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