Russia sees ‘solid foundation’ for extending oil alliance

Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Faleh, left, and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak talk to the media during a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC members in Jeddah on April 20. (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2018
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Russia sees ‘solid foundation’ for extending oil alliance

  • Russia is the world’s leading producer of crude oil, pumping around 11 million barrels per day
  • Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Faleh said there was “consensus” forming among oil producers to extend cooperation on a long-term basis

JEDDAH: Russia said there was a “very solid foundation” for extending cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries at a meeting Friday of oil producers in Saudi Arabia.
Oil kingpin Saudi Arabia said a “consensus” was emerging for a long-term cooperation agreement.
“We have created a very solid foundation for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in the future even beyond the declaration of cooperation,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
He was referring to a cooperation agreement between the 14-member OPEC group and 10 non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day to reduce oversupply.
The deal — which is due to run out at the end of 2018 — has succeeded in reducing a global glut of oil and pushed prices to over $70 a barrel from less than $30 in January 2016.
“Both consumers and producers of oil are expecting us to retain this solidarity to ensure stability and growth of the market,” Novak said at the start of a ministerial committee meeting to assess the compliance with the cuts.
Russia is the world’s leading producer of crude oil, pumping around 11 million bpd and its approval of the alliance is crucial to its success.
Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Faleh said there was “consensus” forming among oil producers to extend cooperation on a long-term basis.
“There will be an extended framework of cooperation ... There is a consensus emerging. We need to do that,” he told reporters ahead of the Jeddah meeting.
“We are at the stage of setting a long-term framework” beyond 2018, added Faleh, whose country is the world’s top crude exporter.
Although reports indicate that a significant portion of oil glut has been removed from the market, Faleh warned that more work needs to be done.
He said that the inventory levels were still higher than the normal average and “we have not seen the low season,” when demand for oil drops, he said.
Novak said that the production cuts agreement, which came into effect at the start of 2017, has removed some 300 million barrels of surplus crude from the market.


Jair Bolsonaro uses WEF platform to sell a ‘new Brazil’ to Davos elite

Updated 50 min 46 sec ago
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Jair Bolsonaro uses WEF platform to sell a ‘new Brazil’ to Davos elite

DAVOS, Switzerland: Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, threw out the welcome mat for big business and major investors on Tuesday, telling a summit of CEOs at the World Economic Forum in Davos that his government would make the country one of the top 50 in which to do business.
Bolsonaro said he would work to open up Brazil’s relatively closed economy, reduce and simplify taxes, privatise assets and give his new justice minister the tools to tackle corruption and organized crime.
The newly-elected Brazilian president told the audience that he was “moved and honored” to be addressing the good and the great at Davos, calling the forum an opportunity to show the world a revamped Brazil that he was building.
“I want to introduce to all of you the new Brazil we are building,” he said. “We are committed to changing our history.”
He reassured political and business leaders in attendance that his government has the credibility and the tools required to reform his country.
Big investment to turn Brazil into a global tourist destination was the main thrust of Bolsonaro’s speech. But given the importance placed on climate change and protecting the natural world, he was keen to point out that he would strive to preserve the environment while developing the economy — saying policies on the two “should go hand-in-hand.”
Bolsonaro surfed a populist wave last year to ride to power, vowing an end to rampant corruption and a restoration of law and order in Brazil.
But staging his first foreign trip as president, Bolsonaro has left behind a scandal about suspicious payments involving his politician son Flavio Bolsonaro, who denies any wrongdoing.
Focusing instead on a pro-business message at the WEF, Bolsonaro told his well-heeled audience that he was determined to open up Brazil’s economy.