Aramco: May Crude Prices After OPEC+ Meeting

Oil Aramco's Station
Oil Aramco's Station

Saudi Aramco delays the release of its crude official selling prices (OSP) for May until April 10. This is to wait for the outcome of a meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts; a senior Saudi source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

"It is an unprecedented measure from Aramco. May OSPs will depend on how the OPEC+ meeting concludes. We are doing what we can to make it successful; including taking this extraordinary step to delay the OSPs," the Saudi source told Reuters.

Saudi Aramco typically issues its OSPs by the 5th of each month, setting the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices. This also affects more than 12 million barrels of oil per day bound for Asia.

OPEC and allies are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a possible new global crude supply cut.

The Saudi source said that Riyadh wants to avoid a repeat of the outcome of a March meeting where oil talks collapsed between OPEC and allies "due to Russia's lack of cooperation with the rest of OPEC+ participants".

Coordinated cuts between OPEC members and others led by Russia expired on March 31 having helped support crude prices since they began in January 2017.

The OPEC+ meeting was initially due for Monday, but was postponed to April 9 "to allow for more time to reach out to all producers including OPEC+ and others," the Saudi source said.

Iraq's oil minister said on Sunday that any new deal needs support from key producers from outside the OPEC+ alliance; such as the United States, Canada and Norway.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia wants constructive talks on the situation in the oil market. He also sees no alternative to dialogue.

Constructive negotiation process

"Russia was not in favor of terminating the OPEC+ deal. President Putin and Russia are committed to a constructive negotiation process. It does not have an alternative for stabilizing the international energy market," Peskov said.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signed an agreement in December to resume pumping at two major oilfields; Wafra and Khafji in the shared Neutral Zone.

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