The world's top oil producers on Thursday agreed to deeper production cuts in a desperate effort to offset a slump in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRESIDENT OF THE OPEC CONFERENCE AND ALGERIAN MINISTER OF ENERGY, MOHAMED ARKAB, SAYING: "We now convene at a time when the outbreak of Covid-19 has had a pronounced adverse impact on economic and oil demand forecast in 2020, particularly in the first and second quarters.
This underscores the fact that events in the oil markets are subject to uncertainties beyond the capacity of any individual stake holder to manage on their own." Meeting in Vienna, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OPEC, agreed to cut oil output by an extra 1.5 million barrels per day, while extending existing cuts of 2.1 million, which were set to expire this month.
But the deal is conditional on Russia and others joining in.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest OPEC producer, and other member states have struggled to persuade Russia to support the move.
Oil prices - which have tumbled by a fifth this year due to a glut in supplies, now made worse by the coronavirus outbreak - were volatile on the news.
The proposed cut, if approved - would be OPEC's deepest since the 2008 financial crisis.