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TASHKENT: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Kazakh­stan are ready to do more work to reduce global oil inventories, the Russian energy ministry said in a statement on Saturday after a meeting of officials from the four countries.

Russia and Saudi Arabia are leading a deal between Opec and non-Opec producers to cut global oil production, with the aim of propping up oil prices.

“The states-participant signified satisfaction of reducing commercial stocks of oil and stated their readiness to continue (to make) join efforts towards such a direction”, the statement said.

Opec, Russia and other oil producers are due to meet at the end of November in Vienna to decide whether to extend the current supply-cut pact.

According to the Russian Energy Ministry, the formerly Soviet state Turkmenistan will take part at the meeting as an observer. Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih said after the meeting that more work was needed to cut inventories.

“There is a general satisfaction with the strategy of 24 countries that signed a declaration of cooperation”.

“Everybody recognises that (the) job is not done yet by any means, we still have significant amount of work to do to bring inventories down. Mission is not yet complete, more needs to be done,” he added.

He said members of the global pact he had spoken with have expressed the same views.

“This is the same sentiment I’ve heard yesterday from (Kazakh) President (Nursultan) Nazarbayev, this is the same sentiment I’ve heard from all the oil-producing members of the Asia energy ministers’ round table”, he said.

Officials from Malaysia, Ecuador, Nigeria and Libya have also given him similar feedback, Falih said.

“All committed to working with other producers and supporting the agreement”, the Saudi oil minister added.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2017