Feb 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus outbreak strains relationship between OPEC and Russia

Oil prices are at their lowest levels in a year as coronavirus hits demand, and one side effect of the public health crisis is that it's afflicting the OPEC-Russia relationship.

Driving the news: Russia has yet to endorse recommendations from an OPEC+ technical panel to deepen the groups' production-limiting pact by 600,000 barrels per day.

  • “The oil market will be waiting on Russia’s response, to see if the OPEC+ can prove itself as being proactive producer group in dealing the coronavirus virus outbreak which, like SARS, is effectively a negative demand shock," BNP Paribas analyst Harry Tchilinguirian said via Reuters.

What they're saying: "The real question is whether the Russians and the Saudis are on the same page on the necessity for collective action," RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft tells the New York Times.

The big picture: "[I]f the group doesn’t act soon, it will find the decision taken out of its hands. Having floated the idea of further cuts they now need to deliver. Anything less will likely send prices down again," notes Bloomberg columnist Julian Lee.

Go deeper: There’s more oil and gas than ever — and the industry is tanking

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