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Trump hails ‘big oil deal’ as OPEC-plus oil producers decide massive output cuts

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United States President Donald Trump on Sunday hailed the “big oil deal” with OPEC plus saying it will save “hundreds of thousands of energy jobs” in the country. Trump’s comments came after top oil-producing countries on Sunday agreed to record output cuts in order to boost plummeting oil prices in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic and a Russia-Saudi price war.

Trump took to Twitter and added that he “would like to thank and congratulate” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the same.

According to a Russian news agency, earlier in the day the OPEC plus oil producers agreed to a new deal stipulating a collective reduction in output in a bid to stabilise the market. “Under the agreement, Russia will reduce its production by 2.5 million barrels per day out of total 9.7 million, with the baseline level of the reduction for Russia set at 11 million barrels per day,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying.

According to Novak, the parties to the agreement would partially restore production up to a reduction limit of 8 million barrels per day over the next half a year and 6 million barrels per year in 2021. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo too welcomed the new deal reached during the extraordinary meeting of the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.

Oil prices have slumped since the beginning of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has reduced demand as countries around the world have put their populations under lockdown. Compounding the problem, key players Russia and Saudi Arabia had engaged in a price war, ramping up output in a bid to hold on to market share and undercut US shale producers. Globally, more than 109,000 people have died from the novel Coronavirus and it has infected more than 1.7 million people.

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