The show of unity between the grouping's largest producers came as Novak traveled to Riyadh for a rare in-person meeting with Prince Abdulaziz on the sidelines of Saudi-Russian bilateral discussions.
Both policymakers presented a united front just 2 weeks after the OPEC+ coalition held difficult talks, eventually agreeing to raise crude oil production by 500,000 barrel/d starting January and to make monthly decisions on further output hikes.
Saudi and Russia began 2020 at loggerheads over strategy in a dispute which threatened to collapse the OPEC+ alliance and tip global producers into a damaging price war before the COVID-19 pandemic hit global demand.
The next full OPEC+ meeting will take place on Jan. 4 and will be preceded by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, co-chaired by Saudi and Russia.
The JMMC is responsible for tracking compliance with quotas and advises on policy.
Additionally, Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on a new cooperation roadmap, which will be signed in the first half of 2021.
This will add to an existing list of 30 projects worth $2.5 billion, including 24 initiatives in oil, natural gas and nuclear energy.
Prince Abdulaziz said, adding that market skeptics and speculators will remain on their toes:
- The OPEC+ deal has been with us for almost nine months and will continue until April 2022, but it can be extended until the end of 2022;
- We have 74 new initiatives and we will show what we achieve at our next meeting at the end of March
- So many countries participating in the meetings means there are many different views;
- Our cooperation will continue even if there's no need for any action;
- The market is still extremely fragile, and we have to keep monthly demand monitoring, as previously recovery was more stable. We must meet more frequently;
The total volume should reach $5 billion by 2024, both sides added.