Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia has no immediate plans to change its current level of oil output, which is at near-record levels.
Despite the low oil price environment, Russia averaged 10.71 million bpd of crude in August, and according to Bloomberg data, is on track to average 11.1 million barrels per day in September. Russia reached its record oil production in 1987 of 11.5 million barrels.
The comments came after OPEC reached a preliminary deal Wednesday on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum to cut current production (33.24 bpd in August) to a level between 32.5 million bpd and 33.0 million bpd. Novak said that Russia didn’t have plans to consult with OPEC members on the issue of oil production until sometime in October and November, adding that earlier talks with OPEC revolved around limited production at current levels, not at reduced levels.
"Russia will carefully consider those proposals which will be eventually drawn up. ... But our position is keeping the volume of production at the level that has been reached. These are the main principles that were earlier being considered,” said Novak, adding that Russia was not ready to discuss any specific level that a production cap might entail, if it is able to reach an agreement with OPEC members at all.
Novak did say that a cap (of an undisclosed amount) would be considered for a period of about six months, unless the decision was made at the beginning of the year, in which case a term of a year “would be feasible.”
Russia was the world’s third largest producer of oil behind the United States and Saudi Arabia according to EIA data from May 2016, although daily production in Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia’s since that time, with Saudi Arabia pumping 10.67 million barrels per day in July, and 10.63 million bpd in August.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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