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Saudi Arabia Says New Oil Cuts Show Teamwork With Russia Is Strong

Saudi Arabia Says New Oil Cuts Show Teamwork With Russia Is Strong

VIENNA - Russia-Saudi oil cooperation is still going strong as part of the OPEC+ alliance, which will do "whatever necessary" to support the market, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told a conference on Wednesday.

OPEC+, a group comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia which pumps around 40% of the world's crude, has been cutting oil output since November in the face of flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's biggest oil exporters, deepened oil supply cuts on Monday in an effort to send prices higher.

Yer the move only briefly lifted the market. On Wednesday, benchmark Brent futures almost flat at $76.30 per barrel as of 1440 GMT, remaining below the $80 - $100 per barrel that most OPEC nations need to balance their budgets.

OPEC says it does not have a price target and is seeking to have a balanced oil market to meet the interests of both consumers and producers.

The United States, the biggest oil producer outside OPEC+, has repeatedly called on the group to boost production to help the global economy and has criticized Saudi cooperation with Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

But Riyadh has repeatedly rebuffed U.S. calls and Prince Abdulaziz said on Wednesday that new joint oil output cuts agreed by Russia and Saudi Arabia this week have again proven sceptics wrong.

"Part of what we have done (on Monday) with the help of our colleagues from Russia was also to mitigate the cynical side of the spectators on what is going on between Saudi and Russia on that specific matter", Prince Abdulaziz said.

"It is quite telling seeing us on Monday coming out with not only our (oil cut) extension...but also with validation from the Russian side", he told a meeting of oil industry CEOs with ministers from OPEC and allies, known as OPEC International Seminar.

OPEC has withheld media access to reporters from Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal to cover the event, which was partly broadcast online.

After the end of the broadcast, Prince Abdulaziz told the seminar that OPEC+ would do "whatever necessary" to support the market, according to a source who attended the meeting.

The International Energy Agency has said it expects the oil market to tighten in the second half of 2023, partly because of OPEC+ cuts.



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