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Saudis, Russia Discuss Joint Oil Output Raise Ahead of OPEC Meeting

  • March 04, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing a proposal to bring back a combined one million barrels a day of oil to global markets, people familiar with the matter said, as the countries prepare to hammer out a deal among an alliance of some of the world’s biggest producers.

The two sides haven’t yet reached an agreement, and other members of the alliance—including other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a group of producers led by Russia—still haven’t weighed in, according to the people familiar with the matter. But ahead of a planned meeting Thursday of the OPEC-plus alliance, the two nations have started to narrow the contours of a deal that will be closely watched by oil markets. Riyadh and Moscow effectively lead the group and are its most influential members.

The proposal under discussion would commit Saudi Arabia to restoring about 500,000 barrels a day of unilateral cuts it has previously made, the people said. OPEC-plus members would then restore collectively another 500,000 barrels a day, including 125,000 from Russia.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have discussed another scenario for the broader group, these people said, which would call for OPEC-plus to keep production mostly throttled back.

The added production under discussion is less than some market watchers had hoped, as oil prices have steadily risen in recent months. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia unilaterally cut one million barrels a day of crude, but in February it started planning to restore some of that.

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