Saudi, Russia pledge oil price cooperation, stop short of agreeing freeze


The world’s top two crude-oil producers pledged to cooperate to stabilize global markets, while failing to announce any specific measures to bolster prices, Bloomberg reports.

“We have a number of tools at our disposal for joint actions,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday following a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih at the G-20 summit in China. Both agree that an output freeze would be the most constructive instrument, he said.

Despite promise of a “significant” announcement — leading to a 5.5 percent jump in oil prices — no concrete actions were revealed at the joint press briefing in Hangzhou. Al-Falih denied there was any current need to cap production, saying “markets are trending in the right direction.”

In a joint statement, the two countries confirmed they’ll hold further talks during the International Energy Forum in Algiers this month. They’ll also coordinate a bilateral working group on oil and gas cooperation in October and meet at the OPEC ministerial summit in Vienna in November. Benchmark Brent crude pared gains to trade up 0.9 percent at $47.26 a barrel at 3:45 p.m. in London.