Putin Says Happy With $70 Crude

Putin Says Happy With $70 Crude  - Photo:
Putin Says Happy With $70 Crude  - Photo:

President Vladimir Putin said he discussed the price of oil with US counterpart Donald Trump when they met in Paris briefly on Sunday, adding that Russia is happy with current prices. 
Putin was more upbeat on the current market situation than his colleagues in OPEC, saying “where it is now, where it was recently, anything around $70 suits us completely,” Bloomberg reported. 
He would not commit to cutting output to help support prices, as some OPEC members have urged, earning them criticism from Trump. 
Russia aims to continue cooperation with OPEC to stabilize the oil market, with existing efforts having shown “positive results,” Putin said.
The Russian president said he hopes to make progress on restoring relations with the US when he meets Trump at the end of this month on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.
“Of course we need dialogue at the highest level,” Putin told reporters in Singapore on Thursday.
“We are ready to restore full-scale cooperation to the extent that our American partners are.”
Russia wants to stay out of any oil-production cuts being touted by some of its partners in an OPEC-led supply pact, two high-ranking Russian sources told Reuters.


Policy U-Turn 

Worried by a drop in oil prices due to slowing demand and record supply from Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is talking about a policy U-turn just months after increasing production. 
Putin on Thursday avoided giving a direct answer on whether production should be limited, but said he had discussed the situation in global oil markets with US President Donald Trump. 
“We need to be very accurate here, each word matters,” Putin told reporters in Singapore. “But the fact that the cooperation with OPEC is needed is obvious and we will cooperate.” 
This week, Trump said he hoped Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC would not cut production. A steep slide in prices has surprised many oil market participants. Brent crude has fallen from a four-year high of $86 a barrel in early October to $66 as of Thursday. Just weeks ago, some trading firms were talking of $100 oil. 
“I think oil production should not be lowered. Yes, we have done this in the past but this was not the right systematic approach,” a senior Russian government source said. 
“Oil production in Russia has been on the rise in recent years, by around 100,000 barrels per day each year, and it will continue to do so in future.” 

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