Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, have discussed the situation surrounding the oil market and cooperation within OPEC and non-OPEC allies, Russia’s Energy Ministry said Tuesday.
The Kremlin also said that Novak was still in talks with Moscow's OPEC and non-OPEC allies, known as OPEC+, about the future of their global oil output pact.
OPEC has been trying to persuade Russia to join deeper oil production cuts. Moscow has said it will disclose its stance in the coming days.
"He (Novak) continues work with colleagues, continues to discuss the situation (on the oil market)," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
Oil prices fell more than 2% on Tuesday, pressured by concerns over the impact on crude demand from the coronavirus outbreak in China and a lack of further action by OPEC and its allies to support the market.
OPEC+ oil ministers will meet in Vienna on March 6 as initially planned, a senior Russian energy ministry official said. The group will consider an advisory panel's recommendation to cut supply by a further 600,000 bpd.
"Risk aversion has returned to the markets," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. "OPEC+ has shown no sign yet of reacting to the virus-related slump in demand by making additional production cuts."
OPEC+ has since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to help the market, while Saudi Arabia has also committed to voluntary cuts of 400,000 bpd.