Russia says ‘doors not closed’ to cooperation with OPEC

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Image result for OPECRussian Energy Minster Alexander Novak said Tuesday that Moscow remains open to further cooperation with OPEC to stabilise the oil market.

“I want to say the doors aren’t closed,” Novak told the state-run Rossiya 24 television network.

The lack of agreement with OPEC on extending production cuts “does not mean that in the future we can’t cooperate with OPEC and non-OPEC countries”.

“If necessary we have various tools including reduction and increasing production,” Novak said, adding that new agreements can be reached.

“We have planned the next meetings in May or June to assess the situation on the market.”

Russia refused to agree to a proposal by OPEC ministers led by Saudi Arabia for a drastic cut of 1.5 million barrels per day, with Russian oil companies fearing loss of market share and of competitiveness against US shale production.

Saudi Arabia responded on Sunday with the biggest cut in its prices of the past 20 years in a bid to win market share.

Saudi Aramco said Tuesday it will boost its supply of crude oil to 12.3 million barrels per day in April, flooding markets as it escalates a price war with Russia.

Novak said Russia could also swiftly increase its production.

“We have potential for growth in production. I think in the short-term we can increase by 200-300,000 barrels (per day) with the prospect of 500,000 barrels, that’s in the near future.”

He added that Russia is competitive on the world markets because of low production costs.

Oil prices crashed on Monday, registering the single biggest one-day loss in three decades after Saudi Arabia’s price cut.

Russia, the world’s second largest oil producer, also saw the ruble fall heavily in value against the dollar and euro to levels last seen in early 2016.


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