G20 energy ministers to meet as oil crashes amid supply glut, coronavirus

A file photo of a virtual summit of G20 leaders. (Supplied)

Saudi Arabia said it would convene a virtual meeting of energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies on Friday “to foster global dialogue and cooperation to ensure stable energy markets and enable a stronger global economy.”

A statement from the Saudi G20 secretariat said the energy ministers, speaking by video conference, would also act to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global energy markets.

Prices have fallen sharply due to the impact of the coronavirus and to the collapse last month of coordinated output cuts led by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Read more: Saudi Arabia leads G20 efforts to unite the world in coronavirus response

US President Donald Trump last week called on Riyadh and Moscow to cut production to support prices as the pandemic slashes demand and stockpiles build.

“We look forward to a productive discussion, as we step up our efforts during these challenging times,” the internal document for the G20 energy ministers meeting said.

Worldwide oil demand has dropped by roughly 30 percent, or about 30 million barrels a day.

The producers are likely to agree to cut output on Thursday but only if the United States joins the effort, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters on Monday.

The United States did not participate in coordinated cuts by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others including Russia which began in January 2017 and ended last month.

Washington has also not committed to taking part in any deal, which Trump has said could involve cutting global supply by 10 percent to 15 percent. US companies cannot coordinate production due to antitrust laws.

On Monday, Trump said OPEC had not pressed him to ask US oil producers to reduce their output, adding that US oil production had already fallen.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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