London — Finance officials from the G7 major industrial nations on Tuesday called on "oil-producing countries to support international efforts to promote global economic stability," as the collapse in crude prices threatens to exacerbate the coronavirus crisis.
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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have said they plan to significantly boost supplies of crude starting in April, after OPEC's alliance with Russia and other key producers fractured in discord earlier this month.
The looming flood of crude comes with the market already reeling from a contraction in demand caused by the virus outbreak, and has prompted many oil companies to slash budgets and warn of layoffs and bankruptcies.
The price plunge is also stressing the economies of many countries reliant on oil revenues, including OPEC members, several of whom are already struggling to provide jobs and services to their citizens.
Saudi Arabia shows no signs of backing off its plan to raise production, while Russia does not seem inclined to return to the OPEC+ alliance to renegotiate output cuts.
US President Donald Trump has said he may intervene in the Saudi-Russia dispute "at the appropriate time," though US lawmakers and administration officials are divided on what measures, if any, to take, with the heads of many shale companies urging action.
In a statement, the G7 ministers, who held a conference call to coordinate their coronavirus response, vowed to "do whatever is necessary" to restore confidence in the world economy through monetary and trade policy and said they would continue to consult weekly.
The G7 nations comprise the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.