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OPEC+ Will React Faster, Be More Hands-On With Oil Market

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These translations are done via Google Translate

By Vivian Nereim, Dina Khrennikova and Olga Tana

(Bloomberg) OPEC+ will react faster to changes and take a more hands-on approach with the oil market, thanks to its accelerated schedule of monthly meetings, according to Russia and Saudi Arabia, the group’s leaders.More frequent OPEC+ conferences mean policy makers in oil-producing countries will drive the market in the coming months, not speculators, said Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. He spoke to reporters after talks in Riyadh on Saturday with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

“We are meeting monthly because we believe that the market is still not recovered and is still extremely volatile,” Novak said. “We need to adopt a hands-on approach and be able to react faster.”

After a difficult round of talks in early December, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies agreed to meet every month, a significant acceleration of their typical bi-annual schedule. The next meeting is on Jan. 4, when they will consider whether to add as much as 500,000 barrels a day of production to the market.

The two ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the group and its production cuts. Economic ties between the two countries were expanding, with growing bilateral trade and joint investments from their sovereign wealth funds, they said.

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“We are on the same page in our commitment” to making sure the oil market is stable, said Prince Abdulaziz. The face-to-face talks in Riyadh, which will be followed by another meeting in March, are a step toward a firmer relationship, Novak said.

Following his trip to Saudi Arabia, Novak on Monday will meet Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Moscow, according to the press service of the Russian official. Zanganeh also plans to meet his newly appointed Russian counterpart Nikolay Shulginov as part of his visit to discuss latest developments in the oil market, the Iranian ministry’s news service reported. Shulginov’s spokesman confirmed the meeting plans.

Zanganeh said this week that Iran plans to roughly double oil production to some 4.5 million barrels a day in 2021. That would clash with the OPEC+ efforts to stabilize the market by raising the group’s output very gradually.

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