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Global oil pact underscores Saudi-Russian energy alliance

on Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:16 pm
Two-year slump in crude price forces co-operation between unlikely partners

The first global crude supply pact in 15 years has underlined the growing energy alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia, as the depth of the two-year oil slump forces co-operation between once unlikely partners.

Russia led the main oil producers from outside the Opec cartel, including Mexico and Kazakhstan, in a deal signed this weekend to reduce supply by 568,000 barrels a day — with Moscow, the largest non-Opec exporter, agreeing to shoulder just over half the cut.

The agreement follows almost a year of petro-diplomacy that led Russian president Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian leaders to put aside differences over the war in Syria as their economies struggle to adapt to the halving in oil prices since mid-2014.

The direct co-operation between the world’s top two crude exporters comes after Saudi Arabia on November 30 led the 13-member Opec cartel in a deal to cut supply by more than 1m b/d, pushing prices up 15 per cent to above $54 a barrel.

“It is very significant to have an agreement by the two powerhouses that are Russia and Saudi Arabia,” said Olivier Jakob, analyst at the Petromatrix consultancy. “A new geopolitical dynamic is being created which could be transformative for oil markets.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia together account for more than a fifth of global oil supplies, but mistrust between the two nations has not easily been overcome................

Access complete text of the editorial:  ft.com In English
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