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No Plans To Cut Oil Production Says Russian Energy Minister

Russia’s Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, claimed there are no official plans to cut oil production despite seemingly contradictory information provided by his number 2 man.

Novak earlier today said representatives at an international energy conference scheduled to start this weekend would likely consider maintaining oil output steady over the next three to six months. So far, however, Novak affirmed there are no proposals to decrease production even though he and Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih agreed at the recent G-20 summit to collaborate in order halt the precipitous drop in crude prices since 2014.

“This option, at least according to the information I have on our discussion with other ministers and other countries, is not being considered,” Novak told the Russian news agency Tass and cited by UPI.

Novak’s remarks came after Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov initially said Russia could “in theory” lower its oil output by 5 percent following discussions with domestic producers. Molodtsov subsequently attempted to clarify by noting that no official agreement to change regulations had been reached.

Russian oil production reached a record high of 11.75 million barrels per day (bpd) last Tuesday, and averaged around 10.71 million bpd in the month of August. Molodtsov said he would view domestic output of 11. 1 million bpd as “a fully realistic level.”

Unlike Novak, Molodtsov opted not to comment on any potential Russian proposals for the Algeria talks, which are being held after a similar initiative collapsed in Doha last April since Iran refused to restrict its supplies.

The rise in Russian oil production has helped global supplies grow and, in turn, been influential in keeping prices low. Should this oil glut continue, member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could hold discussions immediately following the Algeria conference.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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