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Saudi state TV: OPEC deal includes 10M barrel a day cut

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A proposed reduction in oil production by OPEC and other oil-producing countries involves a 10 million barrels per day cut until July, then an 8 million barrels per day cut through the end of the year, Saudi Arabia said Friday as the deal hung in the balance.

OPEC and other producers met via video conference into the early morning, but apparently did not reach a deal after Kuwait’s oil minister said Mexico had disrupted a proposed accord. 

Saudi state television alerted terms of the deal Friday, which also called for a 6 million barrel per day cut for 16 months beginning in 2021. 

Oil prices have collapsed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier said he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and King Salman of Saudi Arabia about the negotiations.

“They’re getting close to a deal that’s OPEC and many other countries outside of OPEC, and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said at a White House news briefing.

“There’s so much production nobody even knows what to do with it, that’s how it’s working,” he added.

Reports of a deal were welcomed by the American Petroleum Institute, which counts most U.S. oil and gas producers among its members.

“While this move will help stabilize world oil markets, significant challenges remain throughout the supply chain since current market disruptions are driven largely by this historic drop in demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mike Sommers, president of API.

But by early Friday, Kuwait Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel suggested the deal was not yet done.

“At the meeting for the OPEC group that ended at 3 a.m., Mexico disrupted the agreement of all the countries to reduce the production of oil by 10 million barrels a day,” al-Fadhel wrote, without elaborating.

There was no immediate response from Mexico, though its Energy Minister Rocío Nahle wrote around the same time on Twitter that Mexico proposed cutting its output by 100,000 barrels a day for the next two months.

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