Saudis, Russians plan to work together at June’s OPEC+ meeting

By Olga Tanas and Grant Smith on 5/27/2020

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) --Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to closely coordinate on the OPEC+ output cuts deal, two weeks ahead of a crucial meeting of the group.

The talks between President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman come as Russia was said to be determined to start easing oil-output cuts in July, as agreed by OPEC+ in April. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will hold online meetings on June 9-10 to discuss if they should extend their record production cuts, or start tapering them.

“It’s certainly a positive development,” said Mohammad Darwazah, an analyst at consultant Medley Global Advisors. “The question is what, if any, details were agreed. It does, however, bode well for the next OPEC+ meeting that Saudi and Russia appear to be on the same page.”

Russia and Saudi Arabia are taking the biggest share of the OPEC+ curbs, and the kingdom has pledged to reduce its production more than required under the agreement next month. Saudi Arabia’s move was followed by fellow Gulf OPEC members Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, and there has been speculation about whether Russia would do the same.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the country would analyze the global oil market before deciding on any potential changes in the OPEC+ agreement.

Moscow and Riyadh have had similar calls in the lead up to previous OPEC+ meetings. Putin and bin Salman exchanged views about the situation in the world energy market, the Kremlin said in a statement on Wednesday. They “noted the importance of joint efforts” and agreed the nations’ energy ministries would closely coordinate.

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