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Saudi, Russia seek to finalise oil cuts in G20 talks, want US involved

DUBAI/MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies will press Mexico on Friday to join an accord for collective oil production cuts equivalent to 10% of global supplies and will push the United States and other producers to remove a further 5%.

The plan for cuts top the agenda for Friday’s video conference of energy ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, after Moscow, Riyadh and others in the OPEC+ group forged a deal in marathon talks on Thursday, only to have it stumble when Mexico balked at the initiative.

Oil prices have plunged to their lowest in two decades as global measures to prevent the coronavirus spreading led to a collapse in demand for crude, at the same time as Moscow and Riyadh’s battle for market share produced a flood of extra oil.

US President Donald Trump had threatened OPEC leader Saudi Arabia, which hosts Friday’s call, with punitive steps if it did not fix the oversupply problems, which has hit budgets of oil producing nations and hammered higher-cost US oil production.

As OPEC+ sought to finalise its deal on cuts after 10 hours of talks via video link, Trump spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

“We had a big talk as to oil production and OPEC and making it so that our industry does well and the oil industry does better than its doing right now,” Trump said.

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