London — Saudi Arabia and Russia appear no closer to a detente in their oil price war, despite Thursday's videoconference summit of G20 leaders to discuss the coronavirus' impact on the world economy.
A post-meeting statement by the organization did not mention oil nor energy, despite US pressure on Saudi Arabia this week to ease off its plans to flood the market with crude, with prices already reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.
The virtual meeting was hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who holds the G20's chairmanship this year.
"We commit to do whatever it takes and to use all available policy tools to minimize the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability, and strengthen resilience," the G20 said.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said before the meeting that oil markets were not on the agenda but that the leaders would discuss the global economy.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Some US shale producers have been pressuring the Trump administration to intervene in the price war, which broke out after Russia earlier this month declined to go along with an OPEC proposal for production cuts to prop up prices.
Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, has since announced it plans to raise its production by about a third and supply a record 12.3 million b/d of crude to the market starting in April. The kingdom has also slashed its official selling prices for crude exports, putting extreme downward pressure on the market.
Front-month ICE Brent futures slid to $26.45/b as of 1711 GMT Thursday, down 60% year-to-date.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday. Pompeo "stressed that as a leader of the G20 and an important energy leader, Saudi Arabia has a real opportunity to rise to the occasion and reassure global energy and financial markets when the world faces serious economic uncertainty," the US State Department said.