* Saudis, Russia to "do whatever it takes" to re-balance
* Volume of cuts initially to remain unchanged
* But Saudis, Russia hope to involve more producers in cuts
* Russia, Saudi Arabia are world's two biggest oil producers
* Soaring U.S. oil output has so far undermined supply cut
(Adds joint Saudi/Russian statement quote, comment, updates
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, May 15 Oil prices jumped by over 1.5
percent on Monday after the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy
ministers said in a joint statement that an OPEC-led crude
production cut would be extended from the middle of this year
until March 2018.
Brent crude was at $51.68 per barrel at 0327 GMT, up
84 cents, or 1.7 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at
$48.64 per barrel, up 80 cents, or 1.7 percent.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and his Russian
counterpart Alexander Novak met on Monday in Beijing and said
that a joint deal to cut crude supplies in order to prop up the
market would be extended from the middle of this year until
"The two ministers agreed to do whatever it takes to achieve
the desired goal of stabilizing the market and reducing
commercial oil inventories to their 5 year average level, as
well as to underscore the determination of oil producers to
ensure market stability," the joint statement said.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, and other
producers led by Russia, pledged late last year to cut output by
almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half
The extension of the cut into the first quarter of next year
will initially be on the same volume terms as before, although
the ministers said they hoped other producers would join the
"The ministers also expressed optimism that a wider circle
of countries outside the current group will see the benefit of
this cooperation in bringing stability to oil markets, and will
join the effort," it added.
Traders said it was significant that the joint statement by
the world's two top oil producers came before the May 25 OPEC
"Saudi and Russia are clearly working closely together.
Saudi seems very determined to push oil prices higher by making
this joint statement now," said Oystein Berentsen, managing
director for oil trading company Strong Petroleum in Singapore.
Russia is the world's biggest oil producer, while Saudi
Arabia is the biggest exporter. Together, they control around 20
million bpd in daily output, equivalent to a fifth of daily
Undermining efforts by OPEC and Russia has been the United
States, which did not participate in the agreement to cut
U.S. drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to May 12,
bringing the total count up to 712, the most since April 2015,
energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.
Current U.S. production is at 9.3 million bpd C-OUT-T-EIA,
up more than 10 percent since its mid-2016 trough.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)