Exclusive: OPEC struggles to keep Russia on board with oil cut, may offer shorter extension

DUBAI/LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) by Rania El Gamal, Dmitry Zhdannikov & Olesya Astakhova – Saudi Arabia is having a hard time convincing Russia to stay much longer in an OPEC-led pact cutting oil supply, and Moscow may agree only to a three-month extension, three sources familiar with the matter said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih when the two met in Baku this month that he cannot guarantee an extension to the end of 2019, the sources said. “Novak told Falih that he will extend in June but can only do it until the end of September as he is under too much pressure internally to end the cuts,” a source familiar with Russian oil policy said. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other non-OPEC producers – an alliance known as OPEC+ – agreed in December to reduce oil supply by 1.2 million barrels per day from Jan. 1 for six months. “We can extend for three months when we meet in June and then see if we need to extend later,” an OPEC source said. “We really don’t know now, and we may not know until the last minute before we meet in… continue reading

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