Saudi Arabia invites Russia to join OPEC as observer, Moscow says its an option

Riyadh has invited Moscow to join OPEC as an observer, the Saudi energy minister says. The announcement follows an agreement between OPEC and non-members led by Russia to increase crude oil output by a million barrels per day.

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The announcement was made on Saturday during the 4th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna.

“Weve invited Russia to join [OPEC] as an observer, an associated member. We believe they are considering it,” Khalid Al-Falih said at a press conference. “I can assure that the entire membership of OPEC would welcome Russia.”

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak confirmed that there was “such an option,” and Moscow was “studying it closely.”

The possible move, which would bring the OPEC and non-OPEC countries closer, was announced following an agreement to raise crude oil output by a million barrels per day.

The idea to bump output has been advocated by Saudi Arabia and Russia, which sought to alleviate high prices through increased supply on the market without creating a glut.

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