Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak held a meeting with his Saudi Arabia counterpart, Khalid al-Falih, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, the Russian Energy Ministry said on its Twitter account on Friday.

“Alexander Novak met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Fali,” the ministry said, giving no further details.

Novak told TASS earlier that the ministry was still undecided about its position on possible oil production cuts in 2019 under the Vienna Agreement. Previously, he said the decision would depend on the anticipated balance of demand and supply in the first and second quarters of 2019, among other factors.

Reuters reported earlier this week citing sources taking part in the Russian minister’s meeting with top managers of Russian oil companies, that Russia could agree to cutoil production under the OPEC+ deal in 2019 but was still discussing with Saudi Arabia possible terms and volumes. The key question was how fast and how much. Most of those present at the meeting reportedly agreed that production should be cut smoothly, like before, rather than slowly.

Since October, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been negotiating possible oil production cuts under the OPEC+ deal. Thus, Saudi Arabia suggested output be decreased in 2019 by one million barrels a day and said it is ready to curtail exports from December. Russia also cut production in November but has not yet announced its readiness to continue reduction.

A decision on the production policy in 2019 can be reached at an OPEC+ ministerial meeting in Vienna on December 6-7.

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