World News

Russia supports OPEC+ panel proposal for deeper oil cut: foreign minister

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Russia supports a recommendation an OPEC+ technical panel made for a provisional cut in oil output of 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) in response to the coronavirus’ impact on energy demand, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken with Saudi Arabia about the new coronavirus, which has spread through China and beyond. He said the virus will have consequences for the oil market.

“We support this idea. Recently the president had a conversations with…Saudi Arabia and they talked about this matter, the consequences of coronavirus, consequences for the world economy,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Mexico City, according to a live translation of his comments into Spanish.

“Of course it will have some consequences for the oil market,” he said.

Lavrov said Russia was in consultations to determine which were the optimum measures for all market participants.

The recommendation to provisionally cut production was made by the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) – a non-decision-making body that advises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.

In previous years, Russia has regularly signaled opposition to OPEC before ultimately agreeing on policy during formal meetings.

The economic slowdown resulting from the virus outbreak is expected to reduce 2020 global oil demand growth by 300,000-500,000 bpd, or roughly 0.5%, BP BP.L Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; editing by Julia Love)