A statement from Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak indicated that top Russian oil companies expressed support for a possible agreement to hold oil production at January 2016 levels during Tuesday's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to state-owned Russian news agency Sputnik. "Of course, initiatives were discussed that are currently being considered within OPEC and not just OPEC freezing oil production at the level of January 2016.
The companies confirmed that they support this initiative and that this should lead to quite a positive result for the market," Novak told the press. In February, the energy ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar met in Doha, Qatar where they agreed to freeze their average monthly oil output throughout 2016 at January levels if other major energy producers followed suit with the aim of curtailing the falling trend in oil prices. The agreement was later supported by Ecuador, Algeria, Nigeria, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. According to the minister, over 15 countries have already voiced their support for the proposed freeze in production.
Novak added that global oil prices would never return to 2014 levels when they exceeded $100 and will most likely reflect fluctuations in the production cost of shale oil. "We believe that prices will not return to levels reached in 2014, 2013 and 2012 when Brent crude exceeded $100 per barrel," Novak said, following a meeting with heads of Russia's major oil producing companies hosted by President Putin.
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