G20 host Saudi Arabia organizes video conference with energy ministers

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends via video link a virtual G20 summit on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 26, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia will host an extraordinary meeting by video conference on Friday for energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies “to ensure energy market stability,” an internal document seen by Reuters shows.

The call is scheduled for 1200-1420 GMT on Friday and will follow a virtual meeting on Thursday for OPEC, Russia and other oil producers to discuss cutting output.

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

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.

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: Tuesday, 07 April 2020 KSA 11:17 - GMT 08:17
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