MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. This past week has become the worst for the global oil market since 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.
"This past week has become the worst for global markets, since the crisis of 2008," Putin told a meeting at Vnukovo airport’s government terminal.
The Russian president noted that China’s business activity index published on Friday declined blow the minimum level of the 2008 global crisis. "In their turn, global stock indices dropped more than 10%," Putin said.
Against this background, Brent crude oil prices fell to $50 per barrel by the end of this week, compared with $70 in the beginning of the year, he noted.
OPEC plus alliance of oil producers has proved to be an effective mechanism for ensuring stability on energy markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting at Vnukovo airport’s government terminal on Sunday.
"This mechanism, which we created with other leading oil producing countries, has proved to be an effective tool for ensuring long-term stability on global energy markets," Putin said.
The Russian leader recalled that next week Vienna would host another OPEC plus meeting. He stressed that this mechanism had helped gain extra budget revenues and enable oil producers to safely invest in promising projects.
The OPEC+ alliance is made up of 24 oil exporting countries including Russia that have been concertedly coordinating oil production since 2017. In July 2019, they extended the agreement to reduce oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day to the level of October 2018 until the end of March. OPEC countries account for 812,000 barrels per day. In December 2019, the OPEC+ ministers decided to reduce production from 1.2 million barrels per day to 1.7 million barrels per day.
The oil market is now facing immense pressure after the novel coronavirus outbreak hit China. Amid lower business and tourist activity, China’s oil demand plummeted by 20%
On February 27, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told Bloomberg that OPEC plus countries had confirmed their plans to achieve a deal at the ministerial meeting in Vienna on March 5-6 in order to stabilize the situation on the oil markets that has deteriorated amid the coronavirus spread.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial megalopolis with a population of 12 million. As of today, more than 50 countries and territories, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
The WHO declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. According to the latest reports, over 86,000 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China and other countries. The death toll from the virus is nearing 3,000, yet over 42,000 patients have recovered to date.