Saudi Arabia pulls out, March 18 OPEC technical meeting postponed: Sources

The OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia would not be attending the OPEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) meeting and is unlikely to attend should the meeting be held by teleconference, Reuters reported a source as saying.

Talks between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, known collectively as the OPEC+ group, collapsed after Russia fell refused to agree to a further 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) output cut. The current supply cut deal expires at the end of the month and producers have moved to expand supply. Saudi Aramco announced it would increase its supply in April to 12.3 million bpd, up around 2.5 million bpd, prompting fears of an oil market price war.

Three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the meeting is now unlikely to go ahead. One of the sources added that the March 18 meeting “is likely to be postponed.”

Oil prices fell dramatically following the collapse of the three-year OPEC+ arrangement, with the market seeing the biggest one-day decline since 1991.

Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that he does not see any need to hold an OPEC+ meeting in May-June without an agreement in place.

“I fail to see the wisdom for holding meetings in May-June that would only demonstrate our failure in attending to what we should have done in a crisis like this and taking the necessary measures,” Prince Abdulaziz told Reuters.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday that he has not ruled out future cooperation with OPEC in order to stabilize the oil market. On Thursday, he announced that the OPEC JTC would likely be held via video conference.
 

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Last Update: 12:17 KSA 15:17 - GMT 12:17
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