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Russia still undecided on OPEC oil deal extension: Saudi

Falih is hoping to convince Russia to back an extension on oil cuts [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 June, 2019

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Russia is the only party of an OPEC oil cuts agreement to be holding off on an extension, Saudi Arabia has said.
Russia is the only major oil producer which has not yet signed up to an OPEC agreement on global output, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday.

Falik made the comment as he visited Alexander Novak in Moscow, as Saudi Arabia looks to shore up support for another extension on oil production, in a bid to stabilise lagging prices.

Moscow is concerned that the US could increase its share in the market at the expense of Russia, although Falih said he is hopes that the major oil producer can be convinced to back an extension of the OPEC agreement.

"So, I think the remaining country to jump onboard now is Russia. I will wait for the Russian dynamics to work themselves out," Falih told TASS in an interview, according to Reuters.

"There is a debate obviously within the country about the exact volume that Russia should be producing in the second half."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that there were disagreements on the issue, with Moscow - which is also a major gas producer - in a better position to weather lower oil prices.

If he is unsuccessful in his mission on Monday, Falih might try to convince the Russians to back the deal later this month, during a G20 meeting in Japan.

The OPEC plus Russia production agreement has helped rescue low oil prices, which collapsed to around $30 a barrel in 2016.

The agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia - two of the world's biggest oil producers - helped strengthen relations between the two countries, which previously had a relatively frosty relationship.

Oil prices have also risen due to tough US sanctions on Tehran, with President Donald Trump saying he wanted to reduce Tehran's oil exports "to zero".

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