The members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies willing to support the tumbling oil market have postponed their emergency talks till Thursday.
The delay was confirmed by the Azerbaijan Energy Ministry to Russian media on Saturday, one day after it had announced that the talks were set to be held on April 6.
While it was earlier reported that the delegations needed more time to figure out how to boost crude prices, Bloomberg stated that there could be another reason for the change of plans. According to the publication, harsh statements exchanged by Moscow and Riyadh, whose rift led to the initial collapse of more than a two-year oil accord, added fuel to the fire.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready to support the cuts of up to 10 million barrels per day, if other players join in. He added that Saudi Arabia’s withdrawal from the agreement was meant to get rid of US shale producers.
The kingdom was quick to refute the accusation, calling it “fully devoid of truth.”
Baku earlier said that a new stage of regulation could be necessary as global demand for oil fell by up to 15 million barrels per day and oil deposits are set to run out of space in the coming months due to the supply glut. Thus not only the efforts of OPEC+, a coalition of 13 OPEC states and major oil producers led by Russia, are needed but a broader format.
“We believe that countries outside the ‘OPEC plus’ format should also participate in this process to gradually create a balance in the oil market,” Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry said in a statement on Saturday, adding that “a new regulatory model will be formed for the first time in history.”
While the statement did not name any country in particular, the biggest question now is if the US would support the deal. Washington was not part of any recent oil cut agreement. US President Donald Trump earlier called on Russia and Saudi Arabia to come to terms, though he did not say that the US would cut its own oil production despite its shale producers being severely hit by the recent oil market rout.
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