Feb 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus outbreak strains relationship between OPEC and Russia

Go deeper

Oil plunges as OPEC-Russia talks collapse

Talks between OPEC and Russia ended Friday without a deal to deepen or extend oil production cuts as the economic slowdown from the novel coronavirus saps global demand, sending already-soft prices sharply downward.

Why it matters: The collapse of OPEC+ negotiations in Vienna marks a massive rupture in the three-year-old collaboration between giant producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to exert more control of the market amid the rise of U.S. shale production.

New aftershocks from Saudi-Russia oil rupture

Photo: Alexey Nikolskey/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Saudi Arabia plans to boost oil output and sharply cut prices, signaling the first response to Friday's collapse of OPEC's production-cutting pact with Russia and allied producers, according to multiple reports.

Why it matters: The unraveling of the OPEC+ agreement, at least for now, and declining oil demand due to the novel coronavirus' economic toll are upending global oil markets and geopolitics.

OPEC puts the ball in Russia's court on oil production amid coronavirus spread

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud in Vienna on March 5. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

OPEC ministers have agreed to push for deepening their joint production-cutting agreement with Russia and allied producers by 1.5 million barrels per day, per reports from Vienna.

Why it matters: The cartel is trying to grapple with how the novel coronavirus is sapping oil demand and depressing prices.