In the latest development in the row between who is responsible over the plunging oil prices, the virtual meeting planned between the OPEC and Russia scheduled for April 6 has been postponed to later next week. The international news agency said, that the meeting is now likely to take place after April 9 in order to allow more time for negotiations between both sides amid the ongoing crisis of coronavirus outbreak. Azerbaijan’s energy ministry spokesperson, Zamina Aliyeva also confirmed the same to the international news agency, adding that they are “not aware of the reasons” but were informed by the OPEC.
The postponement of Russia and OPEC meeting came irrespective of the fact that United States President Donald Trump is mounting pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, also known as OPEC+, to ramp up their efforts in stabilising the global oil markets which have been severely impacted due to the pandemic. According to reports, the oil prices hit an all-time low in the last 18 years on March 30 due to a decrease in demand caused mainly by lockdowns on major cities across the globe to curb the drastic spread of COVID-19. Along with the pandemic, another factor that led to oil markets being unstable is the failure of OPEC and other countries that are headed by Russia to extend the deal on output curbs that expired on March 31.
According to reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin put the blame on collapsing prices of oil on Saudi Arabia while the United States has not yet confirmed to join the efforts by OPEC+. Moreover, Russia’s comments fueled the Kingdom’s harsh response saying that it was Moscow that first declared in public that “all participating countries are absolved of their (output) commitments starting from April 1.” OPEC and its allies are reportedly negotiating to reduce the production of oil by at least ten per cent of the global supply.
But in a meeting with major oil producers on April 3, even though Putin cited the first reason for plunging oil prices as the coronavirus outbreak, he added, that the second reason remains the withdrawal of Russian partners from Saudi Arabia from OPEC+ deal. According to international media reports, the prices had bounced back from the lows of $20 per barrel this week but still remained far below the $66 closing level at the end of 2019.
(Image Source: AP)