Saudi Arabia and Russia are prepared to ease oil production cuts, which have pushed crude prices to their highest since 2014, to calm consumers’ worries that they get an adequate supply, the energy ministers for both countries said Friday.
Alexander Novak, Russian energy minister, and Khalid al-Falih, Saudi counterpart met in St. Petersburg to review the terms of the global oil supply pact that has been in place for 17 months.
According to Khalid al Falih, the easing of restrictions would be gradual in order not to shock the market, while Alexander Novak said current cuts were in reality 2.7 million barrels per day due to a drop in Venezuelan production – somewhere around one million barrels per day higher than the initially agreed cuts of 1.8 million bpd.
Khalid also said the main concern over the recent price rally to more than $80 a barrel should be the impact on consumer nations such as India and China.
The Russia minister declined, according to Reuter’s report, to say however whether OPEC and Russia could decide to boost output by one million bpd at their meeting on June 22.
The ministers, along with their counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, discussed an output increase of about 1 million barrels per day (bpd), sources told Reuters.