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OPEC. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the leading players in the OPEC+ group.

Why it matters: Travel and economic freezes from COVID-19 are causing an unprecedented drop in oil demand that has caused prices to crater.

The early March collapse of the OPEC+ production-limiting agreement added even more downward pressure.

Driving the news: Reuters and Bloomberg both report that the meeting is instead tentatively scheduled for later next week.

  • The postponement follows sniping over the last day between Russia and Saudi Arabia over which side is to blame for the March rupture in the roughly three-year-old pact.
  • The Saudi foreign minister, in a statement, said Russian claims about the rupture and the Saudi posture toward U.S. shale producers were "fully devoid of truth."

The big picture: The push for new supply cuts is complicated because the Saudis and Russians have signaled they want other nations to join the curbs, including the U.S., the world's largest producer.

  • The U.S. market system does not enable top-down decisions on output. However, the collapse in prices and demand, and related logistical constraints, will begin pushing U.S. production lower.

What they're saying: “We always remained skeptical about this wider deal as U.S. producers cannot be mandated to cut,” oil analyst Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects Ltd. tells Bloomberg.

“If so, Russia doesn’t come to the table. And if everyone doesn’t cut, Saudi Arabia’s long held stance is that they will not cut either," she said.

What we're watching: What happens to oil prices when trading resumes Sunday evening. Prices have surged in recent days on the prospect of a new production-cutting pact.

  • The global benchmark Brent crude rose to roughly $34-per-barrel on Friday, about $10 higher than where it was mid-week.
  • Quick take: A steep decline when markets re-open will signal that traders think prospects for a deal have become more remote.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

President Biden, during a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is building into the administration's first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.

FBI director: Jan. 6 Capitol attack was domestic terrorism

The FBI views the Jan. 6 Capitol siege as an act of domestic terrorism, director Christopher Wray testified in his opening statement Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The FBI's designation of the attack as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators "on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists," Wray said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich to introduce plan for Puerto Rico statehood

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) at a hearing on Feb. 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. PHOTO: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) announced Tuesday they would introduce legislation to start the motions for Puerto Rico statehood.

Why it matters: More than 52% of Puerto Ricans voted last November in favor of statehood, three years after Hurricane Maria struck the island and caused one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. It exposed the island's vulnerable position as a U.S. territory and its lack of resources to battle poverty.