Saudi Aramco Reportedly Postpones Oil Pricing Release as Moscow, Riyadh at Odds Over Output Cuts


In early March, global oil prices took a nosedive after OPEC+ members failed to clinch an agreement on output cuts amid the COVID-19 crisis that resulted in a global downturn in economic activity.

Bloomberg has quoted an unnamed source as saying that Saudi Aramco decided to delay the announcement of its official oil selling prices for May until later this week.

The source claimed that a new date for the announcement, scheduled for today, has yet to be set and that it may take place on Tuesday or Thursday, in a sign that Aramco will wait for the results of the upcoming OPEC+ meeting.

The move, which is expected to affect about 14 million barrels a day of regional oil exports, comes after OPEC and Russia reportedly postponed their Monday meeting to discuss supply cuts for 9 April.

The decision followed US President Donald Trump expressing hope that during the gathering, Russia and Saudi Arabia will manage to agree on a deal to end their price spat that has been in place since last month.

The statement came after US oil prices increased by around 25 percent on Thursday following a tweet by Trump that he expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to agree to cut output by between 10 million and 15 million barrels per day.

Oil prices drastically plummeted early last month, after OPEC+ members failed to reach an agreement on output cuts amid the coronavirus crisis.

Russia called for leaving output cuts at previously agreed upon levels, while Saudi Arabia and its allies suggested that additional cuts be made, in a move that was followed by the Saudi Energy Ministry’s decision to increase the Kingdom’s daily production capacity to 13 million barrels of oil from the current 12 million barrel level.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at the time that the demise of the OPEC+ agreement did not take place at Moscow’s initiative, given that “[…] we offered to extend the agreement on current conditions until the end of the second quarter as a minimum or the [end of the] year”.


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