(Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on Friday that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global energy markets is currently marginal, though it could worsen if the virus spreads.
"I think the impact has been marginal - I don’t think it has been dramatic at this stage," Brouillette said at an Atlantic Council event in Washington.
More than 600 people have died as a result of the outbreak, which began in Wuhan, in China's interior. It has led to travel curbs and shuttering of businesses across the country, as well as a sharp fall in imports of energy goods.
Brouillette said he expected that the virus would not impact an agreement by China in the Phase 1 trade deal between Beijing and Washington to buy more than $50 billion in energy products including liquefied natural gas and oil over two years.
"We would expect those purchases as agreed to under Phase 1 would be executed sometime this year or next," Brouillette told reporters after the event.
(Reporting By Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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