Non-OPEC Oman will continue to cap its crude oil output at 970,000 bpd this year if OPEC and non-OPEC countries were to extend the production cuts through the end of 2017, according to a senior Omani government official.
“We support any initiative that will lift oil prices. If that means extending the current agreement beyond the first six months, we will not block it,”
Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said at a media briefing on Monday, as quoted by Times of Oman.
Still, the official was quick to add:
“However, we need to know the details – how long it is going to continue.”
Oman is part of the group of 11 non-OPEC producers—including Russia—that had agreed to act jointly with the cartel to cut oil supply, and that pledged a total production cut of 558,000 bpd.
In January, Oman said that it had started to comply with the production cuts to reduce its share by 45,000 bpd. Back then, Oman was targeting to pump an average of 1 million bpd this year. In the first six months of 2017—the initial period in which the production cuts are in force—Oman’s target production is 970,000 bpd, the same ministry official, Al Aufi, said. After June, the country could go back to its original production target, pending any extensions of the agreement, Al Aufi said in January.
The original plan for average output of 1,001,000 bpd was drafted before the OPEC/non-OPEC deal, Al Aufi said today.
Although in January Oman still believed that it could go back to its original above-1-million-bpd production plan after the deal ends in June, it has become increasingly obvious now that the agreement is not helping global stocks draw down fast enough, and oil prices are not steadily rising because of the deal. Related: Russia Reaches 2/3 Of Oil Output Cut Target
The hints and comments that the deal could (or should) be extended after June have been growing louder.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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