by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Apr 19, 2017
OPEC's secretary general confirmed to Russian media Wednesday that members of a committee reviewing an oil production deal are preparing for meetings in May.
"The next OPEC conference, where we plan to discuss prolonging the agreement for another six months, as it was announced earlier, will be held on May 25," OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo told Russian news agency Tass. "One day before that, the ministers will gather for an informal dinner."
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are 6 percent above a pledge to cut 1.2 million barrels from daily production in an effort to compensate for an over-supplied market. OPEC implemented its managed decline agreement in January and counts Russia as the main contributor outside of the production group.
Russia is a member of a committee monitoring compliance. In March, Tass reported that Russia was at 67 percent compliance with its commitments, cutting output by 202,300 barrels per day to 11.05 million barrels. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that 300,000 barrels per day would be cut by the end of April, putting the country at full compliance.
Russia's rhetoric on the agreement hasn't squared precisely with actual data at times. Pricing group S&P Global Platts found average Russian oil production for the first quarter of the year stood at around 11.2 million barrels per day, 130,000 barrels per day lower than the fourth quarter, but 120,000 barrels per day higher year-over-year.
The OPEC comments follow a report from the International Monetary Fund that said the global economy would expand by 3.5 percent this year and 3.8 percent in 2018, slightly above its October forecast.
The IMF said the multilateral production agreement and strong demand growth offered some level of economic support, with Russia recovering after lingering in recession last year.
"Saudi Arabia indicated it could cut production beyond its initial commitment in a bid to enhance the credibility of the agreement," the IMF added in its report.
Riyadh (AFP) April 19, 2017
The United States wants to see a strong Saudi Arabia, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said during talks Wednesday aimed at reinvigorating the Riyadh-Washington alliance. Mattis, meeting the most powerful figures in the Saudi capital, also hinted that President Donald Trump could visit the kingdom, a longtime US ally which has welcomed Washington's firmer line against common adversary Iran. ... read more
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