Russia and Saudi Arabia are now getting “close to a deal” on oil production to stop its plummeting prices amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump has said. Trump made the comments during the daily White House briefing on Thursday after his one-and-a-half-hour telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
“We had a very good talk.. we will see what happens but as you know OPEC met today and I would say they are getting close to a deal. We will soon find out,” Trump said.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the global aviation industry to a halt and a large majority of people in the western countries and the developing world are staying at home to contain the spread of the disease due to which there are minimal vehicles on the road and a lesser demand for oil.
Due to the global health crisis, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and other oil producing countries want to cut down on production. But Russia and Saudi Arabia have entered into a price war with both the countries ramping up their production. As a result oil prices have plunged to a historic low.
During a virtual meeting of the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing nations on Thursday, the major producers said that the oil output would be cut by 10 million barrels per day in May and June.
The OPEC in a statement said that the cuts would be reduced to 8 million barrels per day for the rest of the year and beginning in January 2021, it would further decrease to 6 million barrels per day, which would continue through April 2022. However, Mexico refused to agree to its share of cuts which could have been 400,000 barrels per day.
The meeting was seen as an opportunity to stabilise the oil market, which has been suffering due to the infighting between Russia and Saudi Arabia on the issue of oil production and the coronavirus pandemic. ”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 it’s doing right now,” he said.
”I don’t think we have seen this probably since the 1950s. That was with big dollars. The conversation was very good, they’re getting very close to a deal, they’ll probably announce something either today or tomorrow one way or the other,” he added.
Talking about the surplus oil around the world, Trump said, ”frankly, there’s not enough room to even store it”.
”Our storage is now full, going to be very soon our national storage is– I said this is a great time to fill it up, loaded up with oil that, frankly, is at pricing but nobody’s ever seen before,” he said.
Talking about the layoffs in the country due to the coronavirus crisis, Trump said, ” it is the numbers are so low that there will be layoffs all over the world. There will be certainly layoffs in this country. We don’t want that to happen. We built a great, great energy business in the US so we have tens of thousands of jobs,” he said.