Iraq, UAE agree to oil cuts as Russia, Saudi Arabia urge oil alliance

Iraq, UAE agree to oil cuts as Russia, Saudi Arabia urge oil alliance

According to a joint statement released on Thursday, the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia met to discuss their pledge to cut oil production.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia as US oil prices fell below $70 per barrel for the first time since July.

Analysts are considering the possibility of Saudi Arabia opening the spigots to counter the rising US production, as they did in 2014.

During their meeting in Riyadh, Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Gulf kingdom’s de facto ruler, emphasized the work of the 23-member OPEC+ group of oil producers in stabilizing global oil markets.

A statement from the official Saudi Press Agency highlighted the importance of all participating countries adhering to the OPEC+ agreement. It emphasized the need for such adherence to serve the interests of producers and consumers, thereby supporting the growth of the global economy.

Last week, the OPEC+ group announced additional supply cuts. Russia will reduce its oil exports by 500,000 daily barrels from January to March. This is in addition to the 300,000 barrels per day cut that they had already implemented earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia announced it will extend its voluntary production cut of one million barrels per day for the same period.

Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Algeria, and Oman agreed to reduce oil production by a smaller amount.

Cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia on oil supply cuts has sometimes angered the US.

Putin’s recent trip, which also included a stop in the United Arab Emirates, was only his third outside the former Soviet Union since the Ukrainian invasion in 2022.

Along with expressing “deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” Putin and Prince Mohammed also mentioned the Palestinian militants’ October 7 attack, which was the deadliest in Israeli history and resulted in 1,200 deaths and approximately 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials. This attack prompted Israel to begin military operations to destroy Hamas.

The health ministry run by Hamas reports that the death toll in Gaza has risen above 16,200.