Saudi Arabia wants to cooperate with other oil producers to support the oil market, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Sunday, quoting an unnamed Saudi source. The Dubai-based satellite channel also reported that Saudi Arabia was not the source of a proposal to cut oil production that Russia was studying, quoting the unnamed source.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that OPEC had proposed output cuts of up to 5 percent to help reduce a glut of crude and prop up sinking prices, in what would be the first such deal globally in over a decade.
It was not clear if Novak was referring to a months-old proposal by OPEC members Venezuela and Algeria, or a new one backed by Saudi Arabia. Sunday's Arabiya report implied the proposal was not new.
The Saudi source's comments were in line with remarks made by a senior Gulf OPEC delegate to Reuters on Thursday. Saudi Arabia has long said it is willing to act to stabilise prices but that the other countries, particularly higher-cost producers, must also reduce their output.
The possibility of supply restraint by producers boosted oil prices to almost $36 a barrel last week from a 12-year low close of $27. But there is widespread scepticism that a deal will happen, especially since Iran is keen to boost its market share now that sanctions on it have been lifted.
The source also told the Dubai-based satellite channel that the kingdom was not the source of a proposal to cut production that Russia was studying. Russia said on Thursday that OPEC had proposed oil production cuts of up to 5 percent in what would be the first global deal in over a decade to help reduce a glut of crude and prop up sinking prices.