Saudi Arabia, Russia Push Negotiations for Global Oil Pact

Saudi Arabia and Russia are pressing the US to coordinate oil output cuts in an attempt to stabilize prices, OPEC officials said, as the demand for crude plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Wall Street Journal. 

US oil companies are divided over the proposed cooperation between the world’s three biggest crude-producing nations, which would be unprecedented. Some major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron are opposed to the plan. Some American shale producers, including Pioneer Natural Resources, are trying to find ways to join the Saudi-and-Russia-led plan.

Top executives from US energy companies were expected to take up the matter in a White House discussion convened by President Trump on Friday, April 3. Oil prices jumped by double-digit percentages a second straight day on hopes of a detente in the global price war. 

The Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 nations led by Russia are set to hold a virtual emergency meeting on Monday. The group is considering whether to invite representatives from the US and Canada, including from Texas and Alberta. The outcome of Monday’s summit will largely depend on whether Mr. Trump and US oil companies could reach a consensus Friday on oil production cuts.

While the US government and some companies cannot formally join the 23-nation Saudi-and-Russia-led alliance because of antitrust and sovereignty issues, they are trying to figure out ways to convince Saudi Arabia and Russia to reduce output. Riyadh and Moscow have privately made it clear they won’t cut output unless US producers do so as well.

Mr. Trump said Thursday he was hopeful that a truce could be worked out in the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia after he had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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