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Kuwait backs call to extend oil output cuts

Russia and Saudi Arabia called for extension of production cut deal struck late last year
A general view shows fishing vessels docked next to the central fish market in Kuwait City backdropped by the new building of the Central Bank of Kuwait (AFP)

Kuwait on Tuesday backed a call by top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend a deal on crude production cuts for nine more months.

"Kuwait gives its full backing and support to the joint position of Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend the oil output cuts deal between OPEC and other producers until March 2018," Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouk said in a statement.

Russia and Saudi Arabia on Monday called for extending the deal struck late last year, ahead of an OPEC meeting on 25 May.

In a joint statement the two countries said an extension to 31 March, 2018 was needed "to ensure market stability, predictability and sustainable development".

World oil prices leapt after the Saudi-Russian announcement and made further gains on Tuesday in Asian trade, with benchmark West Texas Intermediate up 19 cents at $49.04 per barrel.

OPEC members agreed in November to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day for six months beginning from the start of the year, in a bid to reduce the glut in oil supplies and shore up prices that had fallen to historic lows. 

The move was partly matched by non-cartel producers led by Russia.

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