Putin: Russia, Saudi agree to extend OPEC production cut deal

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Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend a deal to keep oil production low owing to abundant world supplies, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.

“We will extend this deal, Russia and Saudi Arabia. For how long? We will think about that. For six or nine months. It is possible that it could be up to nine months,” Putin told reporters after a G20 summit in Osaka.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its oil-producer nation allies opted in December to trim daily crude output by 1.2 million barrels.

OPEC, a group of 14 countries pumping one third of the world’s oil, is holding a high-stakes meeting in Vienna on Tuesday.

The meeting comes against a background of ample global crude supplies, according to OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Russia’s deal with Saudi Arabia on crude production cuts shows their commitment to stabilizing the oil market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement on Saturday.

Novak said that Russia and other oil producers have all supported a proposal to extend the global oil output cut deal, adding it would be better to extend production cuts by 9 months.

“I think the decision on extension is rather consolidated,” Novak said on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka ahead of OPEC and non-OPEC meeting in Vienna due next week.

Novak also said that the crisis over contaminated crude in a Russian-owned pipeline network was over. He said Russia now needs to deal with tainted crude oil that is kept in storage.