US, Russia energy ministers discuss oil market

Two energy officials discuss volatility in prices, oil market developments

Ovunc Kutlu   | 01.04.2020
US, Russia energy ministers discuss oil market


The U.S. and Russia's energy ministers discussed the current situation of the global oil market amid the low crude price environment, the U.S. Department of Energy announced in a statement on Wednesday.

"Today, [U.S. Energy] Secretary Brouillette and Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak had a productive discussion on the current volatility in global oil markets, following President Trump's March 30 phone call with Russia's President Vladimir Putin," the statement said.

"Secretary Brouillette and Minister Novak discussed energy market developments and agreed to continue dialogue among major energy producers and consumers, including through the G20, to address this unprecedented period of disruption in the world economy," it added.

Trump and Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have energy officials start discussing the way to balance the global oil market, according to the Kremlin.

Despite the rapprochement between the nations, it is unlikely for the two countries to form an alliance in the oil market since Russia has been struggling for the last three years to maintain market share against U.S. shale oil producers.

Russia's alliance with Saudi Arabia-led OPEC since late 2016 came to a sudden halt on March 6, 2020 after the group known as OPEC+ failed to make deeper and longer cuts into their collective production levels for a fourth time.

For the member countries of OPEC+, mandatory cut in their oil output levels ended as of Wednesday, while the future of alliance between Moscow and Riyadh remains unclear.

Russia and Saudi Arabia are currently not holding any talks regarding the oil market, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

He added that Putin has no plans to set up a phone call with Saudi leadership, adding the two countries can initiate a dialogue if necessary.

The world's two biggest crude producers after the U.S., have agreed to cut their oil production levels as part of the OPEC+ alliance three times since December 2016.

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