Russia committed to OPEC+ oil cuts: UAE energy minister

UAE’s Suhail bin Mohammed Al-Mazroui also said that compliance with the cuts by both Russia and OPEC’s second largest producer Iraq has increased in March. (Reuters)
Updated 10 April 2019

Russia committed to OPEC+ oil cuts: UAE energy minister

  • ‘Russia will not increase its output unless in coordination with the rest of OPEC and OPEC+ countries’
  • Russia agreed to cut its production by 228,000 bpd but has struggled to comply with the pact

ABU DHABI: United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said on Wednesday that Russia was committed to its oil supply cut agreement with OPEC and would not raise its output unless in coordination with the exporting group.
UAE’s Suhail bin Mohammed Al-Mazroui also said that compliance with the cuts by both Russia and OPEC’s second largest producer Iraq has increased in March, adding that he expected the oil market to achieve balance by the end of 2019.
“Russia will not increase its output unless in coordination with the rest of OPEC and OPEC+ countries,” Mazroui said.
“I believe in the wisdom of Russia, and I believe that Russia has benefited from this agreement... I don’t see any reason for Russia not to continue with us.”
Mazroui’s comments came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia and OPEC should discuss the future of their oil output-cutting deal later this year, adding that current oil prices suited Moscow.
Brent futures LCOc1 were at $70.93 per barrel at 1100 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.44 percent, from their last close on Wednesday as OPEC cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continued to tighten supply.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers led by Russia agreed to reduce their combined output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 this year for six months in an attempt to balance the market.
Russia agreed to cut its production by 228,000 bpd but has struggled to comply with the pact.
On Monday, one of the key Russian officials to foster the pact with OPEC, Kirill Dmitriev, signaled that Russia wanted to raise oil output when it meets with OPEC in June because of improving market conditions and falling stockpiles.
But Putin, the ultimate decision-maker in Russia, seemingly softened that stance, saying it was too early to judge whether the deal should be extended.
Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Mazroui also said the UAE can raise its crude oil production up to 3.5 million bpd if needed.
The UAE currently produces around 3 million bpd under the OPEC+ reduction agreement.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.