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Top oil producers to discuss oil prices via videoconference

By AFP - Apr 12,2020 - Last updated at Apr 12,2020

The photo released by the Saudi Energy Ministry on April 10, 2020 shows Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman (3rd-left) chairing a virtual extraordinary meeting of G-20 Oil ministers, in the capital Riyadh. (AFP photo)

VIENNA — The world's top oil-producing countries were scheduled to meet via videoconference at 16:00 GMT on Sunday, a source close to OPEC said, as they would try to address plummeting oil prices.

 

      The source spoke on the condition of anonymity, but the meeting was confirmed by Azerbaijan.

 

      "The meeting will take place in the framework of consultations resulting from the meeting on April 9 of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries," Azerbaijan's energy ministry said in a statement.

 

      It added that the meeting would be chaired by Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

 

      After long virtual negotiations which started on Thursday and continued well past midnight, the Saudi-led OPEC group and other top exporters agreed -- except for lone holdout Mexico -- to a record deal that would cut output by 10 million barrels per day between May and June.

 

      Mexico's reticence led to a standoff that cast doubt on efforts to bolster oil prices, pushed to near two-decade lows by the demand-sapping pandemic and a Saudi-Russia price war that rattled global markets.

 

      Under the OPEC-led deal, which needs Mexico's consent, the country was expected to cut production by 400,000 bpd.

 

      But Mexico insisted on only cutting production by 100,000 bpd, and later on Friday reached a deal with Washington under which the United States would slash output by 250,000 bpd "as compensation" for its southern neighbour.

 

      But the energy ministers of the G-20 countries failed to agree on an output cut on Saturday.

 

      Oil prices have slumped since the beginning of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

      Compounding the problem, Russia and Saudi Arabia had both ramped up output in a bid to hold on to market share and undercut US shale producers.

 

      The tentative production cut deal marked a possible end of the price war between Riyadh and Moscow.

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