12 Days Remaining

Wednesday 12th
posted by James Tweedie in World

THE International Energy Agency (IEA) urged Opec nations to rapidly implement production caps yesterday after Russia agreed to come in on the deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country is the largest oil producer outside Opec, gave the pledge at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul on Monday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro welcomed the Russian commitment, saying: “Petroleum producers, Opec members should reach an agreement and should work for the stability of the petroleum industry.

“We have to continue insisting on this strategy of a new energy alliance for the world.”

Oil-rich Venezuela’s economy has been crippled by a global slump in petroleum prices over the past two years, in what Mr Maduro has described as an economic war directed by Washington.

Right-wing opposition parties have seized on the crisis to incite violent unrest against the elected government.

Recently leaked documents detailed in yesterday’s Star show the US military is directing the regime-change efforts.

The IEA said yesterday: “The current price of oil has caused discomfort for all producers.

“Global oil inventories are far too high, in the view of some producers, and they aren’t being worked off nearly fast enough.”

Mr Putin said: “It is inadmissible to curb the development of the energy sector for the sake of political ambitions of certain countries.

“Such actions do not contribute in any way to the stability of the world energy sector.”

The announcement by Mr Putin pushed oil prices higher, with US light sweet crude closing $1.54 (£1.26) higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $51.35 (£42.03), a high for the year.

Meanwhile, the energy ministers of Russia and Turkey signed an agreement for a new “Turkish Stream” natural gas pipeline, overseen by Mr Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Russian leader announced a gas discount to Ankara and the resumption of fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey, as well as deals on defence and space exploration co-operation between the two countries.

Mr Putin affirmed the need for a political solution in Syria, where Russia and Turkey came near to armed conflict last year.

“The switch to a political settlement must happen as soon as possible,” he told a press conference with Mr Erdogan. “We suppose that everybody who wants peace should support this proposal.”