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Putin Calls Saudi Crown Prince To Discuss Oil Market, OPEC+

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Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the oil market and OPEC+.

The two parties also made a note of the importance of collaboration within OPEC+, adding that OPEC+ members have consistently fulfilled their obligations to maintain market balance and stability in the energy markets.

OPEC+ has consistently failed to meet its production targets over the duration of the deal. In June, OPEC+--a group that includes both Russia and Saudi Arabia—increased its oil production by 390,000 bpd, but most members failed to meet their production targets. OPEC’s share of the increase for June was 210,000 bpd, while non-OPEC members part of the OPEC+ group increased production by 180,000 bpd, according to a recent Platts survey.

Overall, this was still more than 2.5 million bpd under the quota for the full OPEC+ group.

Russia and Saudi Arabia—the two largest producers within OPEC+--saw the biggest production gains in June.

While the group has fallen short of production targets, OPEC continues to insist that the market is in balance. Saudi Arabia has long maintained that it can do nothing beyond what it is already doing to help the oil market, and that the market is far more complex than merely pumping additional barrels of oil.

That hasn’t stopped President Joe Biden from repeatedly asking the group to increase its oil production to alleviate the high pump prices in the United States. While U.S. gasoline prices have eased over the last month to $4.44, they remain $1.278 above last year’s levels, according to AAA data.

The phone call is just the latest in a series of calls between Saudi Arabia and Russia, even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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