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Russia, Saudi Arabia to discuss oil market, prices on Wednesday – Novak says

MOSCOW – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia and Saudi Arabia will discuss the oil market situation and oil prices later on Wednesday, news agencies reported, as the Israel-Palestinian conflict rages on.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman is due to take part in an energy conference in Moscow later during the day, the TASS news agency reported.

Novak also said, according to the news agencies, that the conflict may affect the oil market.

Crude oil prices spiked in the wake of a massive Hamas incursion into Israel, which vowed to escalate its response to the attack, one of the bloodiest in history, with a ground offensive.

Israel produces very little crude oil, but markets are worried that the conflict could escalate and disrupt Middle East supply, worsening an expected deficit for the rest of the year.

“We will discuss it… Such events in the world one way or another can influence the situation with the consumption of energy resources in one direction or another,” Novak said according to Interfax news agency.

Novak is taking part in the energy conference in Moscow, which other officials, including Prince Abdulaziz, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and the OPEC representatives, are expected to attend.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to address the forum later on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to continue with voluntary oil supply cuts of a combined 1.3 million barrels of oil per day, or more than 1% of global demand, to the year-end.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it is working with regional and international partners to prevent the escalation of the situation in Gaza and neighbouring areas, and reaffirmed it supports efforts to stabilise oil markets.