Russia supports a recommendation to deepen OPEC+ global oil supply curbs to compensate for a drop in demand caused by the coronavirus, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
A technical panel that advises the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia proposed a provisional cut in output of 600,000 barrels per day, three sources told.
That is about 0.6 percent of global supply and would extend current curbs of 1.7 million bpd.
The OPEC+ group pumps more than 40 percent of the world’s oil.
Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently spoken with the king of OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia about the new virus, which has spread through China and beyond and sapped energy demand.
Lavrov said Russia was in consultations to determine which were the optimum measures for all market participants.
Russia’s support could pave the way for OPEC to bring forward to February a ministerial policy meeting planned for early March to formalise the decision.
The Joint Technical Committee, the panel that recommended the cut, is a non-decision-making body that advises the oil producer group.
Earlier, the sources said the panel was awaiting Russia’s final position on the proposal and that ministers would not change the meeting date if there was no agreement on further supply cuts.
The panel had extended its meeting into a third day on Thursday after Russia signalled a preference for an extension of current cuts rather than deeper cuts, one source said on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures lost 35 cents to settle at $54.93 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 20 cents to settle at $50.95 a barrel.