Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to extend crude oil output cuts until March 2018 in their latest effort to rebalance the global crude market, energy ministers for the two major oil producers said on May 5. The next round of cuts will be on the same terms as the existing deal, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said at a joint briefing in Beijing with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak. News of the joint deal sent crude prices up more than 1.5 percent in Asian trading. Both ministers agreed to do whatever it takes to reduce global inventories to their five-year average and expressed optimism that they will secure support for the extension from other producers. Under the current agreement, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, and other producers including Russia pledged to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year.