Coronavirus impact on oil is like a house on fire: Saudi energy minister

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman reportedly said that it could either be treated 'with a garden hose', or with 'a fire brigade'

Coronavirus, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, OPEC

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman likened the coronavirus outbreak to a house on fire. He said it could either be treated with a garden hose, risking losing the building, or by calling the fire brigade, according to sources who were there, quoted by Bloomberg.

He noted that some might think that calling the fire brigade projects panic, and could damage the furniture, but doing so would be responsible and would save the house.

This contrasts his previous comments on the outbreak in January, when he said that it would have a "very limited impact" on demand for oil.

Saudi Arabia has pushed for an emergency OPEC meeting to discuss deeper production cuts, but Russia appeared hesitant. The organisation is scheduled to meet in early March.

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