VIENNA (AFP) – The OPEC bloc of oil producers yesterday formally signed a new charter of cooperation with other major producers – including Russia – a day after thrashing out the document at a marathon meeting.
The new agreement between OPEC and its so-called OPEC+ partners is being seen as a sign of the cartel’s efforts to stay relevant in a market which has been transformed by booming US shale oil output.
The growing influence of Russia on the bloc was already in evidence on Monday when Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak declared that all of OPEC’s ministers had agreed to prolong its daily production cuts.
The cuts had been agreed by Russia and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia at the G20 summit in Osaka last weekend, prompting Iran to warn that OPEC could “die” if it were reduced to a rubber stamp for decisions made in advance.
However, Iran did support the extension of production cuts which will run until March 2020.