Saudi Arabia, Russia say committed to oil market stability -statement

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Russian counterpart Alexander Novak held a phone conversation

  
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud and Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak are seen at the beginning of an OPEC and NON-OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2019.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud and Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak are seen at the beginning of an OPEC and NON-OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2019.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

DUBAI- Saudi Arabia and Russia are firmly committed to achieving oil market stability and expediting a rebalancing of the market, the energy ministers of the two countries said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Russian counterpart Alexander Novak held a phone conversation as part of their consultations on oil market developments, the statement said.

"We are also pleased with the recent signs of improvements in economic and market indicators, especially the growth in oil demand and the ease in concerns about storage limits as various countries around the globe begin to emerge from their stringent lockdowns," the ministers said.

They said they were "confident that our partners within OPEC+... will comply with the OPEC+ agreement."

OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, agreed last month to reduce output by 9.7 million bpd for May and June, a record production cut.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would voluntarily deepen oil output cuts from June by 1 million barrels per day, saying the new reductions were designed to expedite draining a global supply glut and rebalancing the oil market. 

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates both joined Saudi Arabia and also pledged to cut more than their commitments under the OPEC+ supply pact by a total of 180,000 bpd.

The joint statement said Novak welcomed the additional voluntary substantial production cuts made by Saudi Arabia and the steps that United Arab Emirates and Kuwait took to support Saudi efforts. The statement said such action was needed to help to expedite the rebalancing of the oil market.

Producers will slowly relax the production curbs under the OPEC+ agreement after June, but supply reductions will remain in force until to April 2022.

Sources told Reuters this week that OPEC and its allies want to maintain existing oil cuts beyond June rather than scaling them back to help to shore up prices and demand, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman) ((rania.elgamal@thomsonreuters.com; +971 562 160 434; Reuters Messaging: rania.elgamal.reuters.com@reuters.net ; Twitter: @RaniaElGamal10))

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