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OPEC+ partnership to endure beyond oil production cuts: Barkindo

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia — OPEC+ members will remain united in their stewardship of the oil market, whether or not their current production cuts are extended beyond their currently scheduled March expiry, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said Monday.

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Russian energy minister Alexander Novak has suggested that his country may seek to exit the production cuts, but Barkindo said the charter of cooperation between the 24-member OPEC+ coalition is about more than just supply adjustments.

The agreement calls on the members to regularly consult on the oil market, but does not commit any party to specific production caps.

"The bond between participating countries has become very strong, including, of course, personal friendships across capitals and nations," he said on the sidelines of the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Saudi Arabia. "This partnership has come to stay for the good of OPEC and non-OPEC [producers], as well as consuming countries and the global economy."

OPEC, Russia and nine other countries are entering their fourth year of production cuts aimed at supporting oil prices, with the current deal that went into force January 1 calling on the coalition to slash 1.7 million b/d of output through March. Saudi Arabia has also pledged to cut a further 400,000 b/d if all other members respect their production quotas.

The alliance will meet again March 5-6 in Vienna to decide on the future of the deal.

The cuts will help keep the oil market stable through the first half of the year, Barkindo said.

"We remain confident that the full and timely implementation of the [cuts] will keep the market in check and maintain stability through the first and second quarter of 2020," he said.