Russia, Saudi Arabia overcome differences holding up big oil cut deal: Dmitriev

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Russia and Saudi Arabia have overcome differences that had presented potential hurdles to a plan for major oil output cuts aimed at shoring up crude prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis, the head of Russia's wealth fund said on Thursday.

Kirill Dmitriev, who is also one of Moscow's top oil negotiators, told Reuters that moves to cut oil production needed the support of OPEC+, a group that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as other producers outside the informal grouping.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented drop in the use of oil worldwide, from driving cars to air flights and industrial usage, leading analysts to predict a massive surplus of 28 million barrels in daily oil output this month.

Thursday’s meeting, between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of allied producers known as OPEC+, is expected to find an agreement on a cut, but nobody expects them to approach the level required to balance oil markets in the short term.

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