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Russia, US may work together on global oil market regulation to avoid price volatility: Putin

Russia and the US, as the world’s major oil and gas producers, can work together to regulate international markets as the two countries are not interested in high price volatility, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Monday, during a joint briefing with US President Donald Trump.

“I believe we as major oil and gas countries may work constructively to regulate international markets because we are interested neither in an extreme drop in prices – as our producers [including shale oil and gas producers in the US] will suffer – nor extremely high prices,” because they will negatively impact the countries’ economies, Putin said.
“There is a room for cooperation,” he said, without elaborating.

Trump earlier demanded on Twitter several times that OPEC increase oil production to ease prices, which have remained in the high $70s/b despite an agreement by OPEC and non-OPEC allies to increase production by up to 1 million b/d. Saudi Arabia and Russia have the bulk of the world’s current spare capacity.

Despite the June decision to increase production by the OPEC-led group, concerns persist about oil supply shortages in the fourth quarter when the US sanctions against Iran come into force, while oil production instability in some other oil key producers like Venezuela and Libya persists.

The two were speaking to media after the meeting in Helsinki, during which they discussed a whole string of issues, including alleged meddling by Russia in the US election in 2016, which Putin denied again.

The two also discussed the situation in Syria, Ukraine, Iran and North Korea, they said.

Putin pledged that Russia will be ready to extend a transit contract with Ukraine to send Russian gas via the country to Europe after 2019, when the existing contract expires.

But Russia will be ready to do so only if the current dispute between Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraiyny has been resolved in the Stockholm arbitration court, he said.

Source: Platts

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