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U.S. Oil, Gas Activity Declines

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Putin: OPEC+ Cooperation Could Expand To Other Areas

The success of OPEC+ in stabilizing the oil market after last year's price crash shows that the group has all the chances to expand cooperation and include areas such as new technologies and emissions reduction, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Russian Energy Week forum on Wednesday.

OPEC+, in which Russia leads the group of the non-OPEC producers, played a key role in stabilizing the market during the pandemic, Putin said.

Russia is a responsible member of the OPEC+ alliance, the Russian president said, adding that Moscow assumes that the current deal would be in effect until the end of 2022.

"At the same time, the results show that the OPEC+ cooperation has all the chances for further development, it could include more areas of cooperation, including development of new, environmentally-friendly technologies for oil and gas production and processing, and exchange of best practices on how to account for and reduce the carbon footprint," Putin said in his speech at the forum.

The Russian president also spoke about the turmoil in the global gas markets, especially the European market. Unlike on the oil market, the situation on the European gas market doesn't look predictable or balanced, Putin said.

According to the Russian president, the surge in renewable energy generation across Europe left insufficient nuclear and gas-powered reserve capacity to offset the drop in wind power generation, as it happened in September and kick-started the gas market rally. European energy policies have been flawed in the past decade, and this led to the gas and power crisis, Putin said.

Russia fully meets its contractual obligations to European customers, and is ready to discuss additional actions, Putin said.

Some analysts and Members of the European Parliament have suggested that Russia has been deliberately withholding gas supply to the European market in recent weeks, exacerbating the gas crisis and pushing prices higher, possibly with the ultimate goal of pushing the European Union into admitting that it needs the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to avoid a severe crisis when the winter comes. 

Gazprom has started withdrawing gas from its storage facilities to stabilize the gas market, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told a BBC program on Tuesday, adding that "It's not in our interest to rock the boat further."


By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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