Saudi Oil Minister to Meet Russia Counterpart as Pact Discussed

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister will meet his Russian counterpart in St. Petersburg to discuss energy, after which the world’s two biggest crude exporters plan on signing a cooperation pact.

The countries will sign an agreement after talks Thursday between Saudi Arabia’s Ali Al-Naimi and Alexander Novak, the Russian minister said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He didn’t discuss the meeting’s agenda, which he said would focus on increasing energy cooperation. The pact won’t involve a joint oil production or export strategy, Reuters reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

Saudi Arabia is leading the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a strategy of maintaining oil production levels at a time when the global crude market is in surplus, insisting suppliers outside the 12-nation group must help tackle the excess. Novak said as recently as June 3 that cutting crude production would hurt the oil market. The two nations pump at least 20 percent of the world’s oil between them and rely on crude sales to support their economies.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark, climbed as much as 1.7 percent to $64.96 a barrel, and traded at $64.55 at 1:11 p.m. local time on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

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