Saudi Arabia Pushes to Extend Cuts 9 Months but Doubts Linger

Saudi Arabia Pushes to Extend Cuts 9 Months but Doubts Linger

Saudi Arabia is pushing for an extension of the OPEC-led production-cut agreement by an additional nine months until the end of 2018, Reuters reports.

“The Saudis are lobbying to have a decision in November for nine months,” an industry source told Reuters.

The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman, personally weighed in on the issue earlier this month and indicated Saudi Arabia’s willingness to extend the agreement.

Not all parties appear as enthusiastic—at least for a nine-month extension.

Russian sources indicated that Gazprom Neft, a key Russian energy company, opposes an extension, according to RT.

Instead of discussing a nine-month extension as sought by Saudi Arabia, Russian officials and oil companies have discussed a shorter, six-month discussion, RT reports.

An extension of the agreement, however, is widely expected at next week’s meeting of signatories of the agreement in Vienna.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, like the Saudi Crown Prince, has indicated his support of an extension, according to Reuters.

“The Saudi and Russian leaders have indicated it’s on the cards. Why would I disagree with them?” an OPEC source told Reuters.

Earlier this week, the Iranian oil minister indicated that most OPEC members supported an extension. Other participating oil ministers have expressed similar sentiments.

In January, OPEC and a number of other oil producing nations, such as Russia and Oman, agreed to collectively cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day. The agreement is currently set to expire at the end of March 2018.


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