G20 members agree to form voluntary focus group to monitor oil response measures

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud speaks during a virtual emergency meeting in Riyadh. (Reuters)

Members of the Group of 20 (G20) countries agree to form a short-term task force for all members on a voluntary basis to monitor oil response measures, according to the group’s final communique after meeting on Friday.

The communique, which made no mention of specific numbers on oil production cuts, was delayed for several hours after Mexico refused to agree to a bigger cut in oil supply.

“We establish a short-term Focus Group, with the task of monitoring the response measures. The Focus Group is open for all G20 parties, on a voluntary basis, and will regularly report its assessment during the Saudi G20 Presidency, in collaboration with relevant international organizations, to G20 Energy Ministers,” the final communique read.

US President Donald Trump confirmed the US had agreed to help Mexico meet its commitment to slashing oil production under a global deal to address the petroleum glut.

“Mexico is going to reduce by 100,000 barrels and that would mean that they’re 250 to 300 (thousand) barrels short. We’d make up the difference, they would reimburse us at a later date,” Trump said during his daily press briefing, adding that the proposal would involve cutting “some US production.”

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Energy ministers of the G20 countries convened for a video conference on Friday with the aim of bolstering the oil market that collapsed as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated.

Their final communique issued early on Saturday said it would continue close cooperation and review both responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its broader G20 energy agenda.

“We agree that ensuring energy market stability and ensuring affordable and secure energy are key in addressing the health, well-being, and resilience of all countries throughout the crisis response and recovery phases,” the statement read.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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