Right now Russia sees no grounds for resuming talks to put a freeze on crude production, but is open to join discussions if OPEC members raise the issue, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.
“A basis for this has yet to develop, considering prices are still at more or less normal levels,” Bloomberg quoted Novak as saying. Should prices drop, the need for discussion is most likely to arise, the minister noted.
After the crude prices had dropped to 12-year-lows at US$26 in February, all eyes were riveted on the April meeting in Doha for clues whether OPEC would cap production in a bid to lift off oil prices. The Doha talks collapsed with no deal in sight when Saudi Arabia insisted that any deal must include Iran, which of course, Iran never agreed to, just having been relieved of several years of oil sanctions.
Last week, Venezuela had informal talks with OPEC officials to discuss ways to boost the oil prices.
On Monday, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry and current OPEC President, Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, said in an official OPEC press release that an informal meeting of OPEC member countries was slated to take place on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum in Algeria between September 26 and 28, 2016, but OPEC’s official statement abstains from referring to any talks on an oil price freeze.
Mr Al-Sada commented instead on the recent decline in crude prices, saying the market volatility was “only temporary” and that higher demand in the third and fourth quarters would support oil price increases later in 2016.
Regarding the Algeria meeting in September, Russia’s Ministry of Energy has not received any official invitation from OPEC to take part in those informal talks, Russia’s TASS agency reported, citing a ministry representative.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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