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Russia, Saudi Arabia back extension of oil output cuts

17 May 2017

Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as the market awaited direction from weekly USA inventory data and as Kuwait joined top producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation in support of prolonging supply cuts through March 2018 to reduce a global crude glut.

Energy ministers from the two countries said supply cuts should be extended for nine months, until March 2018.

Oil halted gains near $48/bbl after US rigs targeting crude rose a 17th week, countering a report that OPEC and other major producers reached an initial agreement to extend output cuts.

"That said, we are sceptical about Russia's willingness to actively participate in any extended cuts".

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OPEC and some non-OPEC producers agreed in December to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months to help stabilize oil prices. There's a "good chance" that Russian Federation, a non-Opec nation, will extend its cooperation with the organisation because Saudi Arabia wants price stability and is complying with its obligations in the deal, he said.

OPEC members agreed in November to cut 1.2 million barrels a day of oil production.

According to the IEA, the growth of oil production in countries that are not part of OPEC in 2017 will reach 600,000 barrels per day against 2016. US stock indexes are pointed toward narrowly mixed openings when the NY day session begins. Hopefully, if oil manages to retain this rise for more than a month, it would be beneficial to the crude oil producing countries to sell it at higher price till then. You can continue accessing it for as little as $1 a day with a special early bird Polymerupdate discounted price.

Following the Russia-Saudi statement, Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said "Kazakhstan should follow the trend", in comments reported by Russia's RIA Novosti agency.

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Amid the cutbacks, production in the U.S., which isn't part of the agreement, has risen to the highest level since August 2015.

Compliance estimates, however, are not the sign that the oil market and analysts are mostly looking at.

In its monthly report last week, OPEC said that global markets are still suffering from oversupply and it appealed to other producers, including the US, to stop pumping so much.

"We never say that our goal is a price".

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Shawn Reynolds, manager of the Natural Resources Equity strategy at VanEck, said: "We see this as an unprecedented degree of cooperation between the two largest producers in the world providing a degree of commitment and visibility unmatched in the OPEC-era".