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Saudi Oil Chief Reaffirms Commitment To Output Cuts During Russia Visit


Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih reaffirmed a commitment to respect oil output cuts through early 2020.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih stressed in talks with his Russian counterpart that Riyadh would continue to comply with agreed oil output cuts through at least the first three months of 2020.

“We confirmed that we will continue with high levels of commitment to the production-reduction agreement until the end of the first quarter of 2020 with a view to restoring world oil reserves to their natural range,” he wrote on Twitter on August 3.

"We will continue to hold such meetings and talks between our two countries to ensure further progress, partnership, investment development, and mutual trade," Falih added.

The Saudi oil chief made the comments following his meeting with Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in Moscow.

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members in early July reached an agreement with other major oil-producing nations, including Russia, to extend production cuts into next year amid concerns over weaker global growth.

The new agreement prolonged a reduction in oil production of 1.2 million barrels a day that went into effect on January 1. The majority of the cut came from OPEC nations.

The deal, signed on July 2 at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna, also included Mexico, Bahrain, Oman, and Kazakhstan. The United States, now the world’s largest oil producer by monthly production, was not part of the discussions.

A 2016 agreement to freeze oil production was forged amid a dramatic fall in oil prices that had helped plunge major oil-producing countries into economic downturns while slashing the oil-tax revenue they depend on for spending on military and social programs.

Russia's struggling economy relies heavily on income from oil and gas exports.

The two energy chiefs also said they worked on preparations for the planned visit in October by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Saudi Arabia and discussed bilateral relations.

"Russia sets a high value on the dialogue established with Saudi Arabia and considers necessary to continue such intensive interaction," Novak said.

"We are focusing on strengthening bilateral cooperation and trade development,” Novak said about Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the United States but with which Moscow has attempted to strengthen ties in recent years.

With reporting by Reuters, Arab News, and TASS
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