Russia still undecided on deeper OPEC-plus output cuts

REUTERS
MOSCOW
Published 11.02.2020 13:50
Updated 11.02.2020 15:26
A view shows the Gazprom Neft's oil refinery in Omsk, Russia, Feb. 10, 2020. REUTERS Photo
A view shows the Gazprom Neft's oil refinery in Omsk, Russia, Feb. 10, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

Russia is still studying proposed deeper oil output cuts by the OPEC-plus group of top producers prompted by the new coronavirus outbreak in China, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday.

A technical panel that advises the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia has proposed a further cut of 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), three sources told Reuters last week.

That is about 0.6% of global supply and would increase OPEC-plus cuts to 2.3 million bpd.

Novak said Russia was carefully monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on global energy markets. "The situation remains extremely uncertain," he said in a statement. "Currently, Russia is closely studying the recommendation of the technical committee in order to evaluate the situation and find a weighted approach based on the market's interest on the whole," he said, in comments echoing one from earlier last week.

Russia's delay in delivering its official stance has frustrated some OPEC members. OPEC-plus producers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on March 5-6 to consider policy. Their current cuts expire in March.

There has been some discussion about bringing that meeting forward depending on how the coronavirus outbreak affects oil prices.

Prices rose around 1% on Tuesday in sympathy with a rally in equity markets, but investors remained jittery over the coronavirus as deaths from the outbreak rose above 1,000 in China.

Russia has also yet to reach an agreement on oil deliveries for this year with Belarus.

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