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Russia’s Oil Production Cuts Don’t Increase In February

New figures from Moscow show that Russia is continuing to cut oil production by just a third of the amount it had promised to the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in November.

The Russian Energy Ministry’s data, released on Thursday, said national output remained at 11.11 million barrels per day in February – just 100,000 barrels lower than the country’s starting output used to settle the terms of the agreement.

Moscow agreed to cut 300,000 barrels per day of production during the first six months of 2017, with the first 200,000 down within the first three months of the year. This means Russia still has a month left to cut another 100,000 barrels per day to stay on track.

Earlier this week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that his country’s oil production in February would be lower than the January output, with Moscow cutting more than the 117,000 bpd cut it made in the first month of the year – but new figures show that this is not the case.

Novak said that Russia would be trying to speed up the gradual cutting of the 300,000 bpd, adding that anything is possible, when asked whether the 300,000-bpd-cut could be reached in early April. The timing will depend on the capabilities of the companies, the minister noted.

Related: Are Oil Prices Really Driven By Supply And Demand?

After over a year of failed negotiations, OPEC agreed to cut its output in November. Compliance to the plan reached 94 percent amongst the bloc’s members, though the 11 NOPEC countries involved have only been hitting near the 40 percent mark.

The bloc’s Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo expressed confidence in Moscow’s commitment to the oil-price end game last week.

"I am in regular contact with Russia and I remain confident that at the end of the day we will see full and timely implementation of the obligation [to cut oil production],” he said, answering a question regarding the issue at a press conference.

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By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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