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Russia Says It May Cooperate With OPEC+ Deal Even After 2022

Russia could continue its participation in the OPEC+ oil production agreement even after it officially expires at the end of this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

Novak met in St Petersburg with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who made a surprise appearance at a Russian economic forum.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the leaders of the OPEC+ deal, have reiterated they would stick together in the pact, despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the plunge in Russian oil production as a result of Western sanctions. Russia is estimated to be more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) below its target production level under the OPEC+ agreement.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that the OPEC+ alliance is solid, with the level of cooperation within it strong.

“They noted the stabilising effect that the tight cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia has on world markets for hydrocarbons in this strategically important sector,” a statement from the ministers said.

Reports emerged in May that some OPEC members were considering excluding Russia from the extended cartel as Western sanctions weigh on its production.

Since then, both Saudi Arabia and Russia have stressed the importance of their OPEC+ partnership, although the OPEC+ group hasn’t commented on Russia severely lagging in production quotas since buyers in the West started shunning its crude.

During the latest OPEC+ meeting, the group decided to accelerate its monthly oil production increase to nearly 650,000 bpd as it looks to compensate for falling production in Russia amid expectations of strong fuel demand this summer. Under the production table for July provided by OPEC, Saudi Arabia and Russia each have a quota of 10.833 million bpd next month. Russia, however, was already pumping nearly 1.3 million bpd below its target in May, an OPEC+ document seen by Reuters showed today. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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