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Russian Energy Ministry: Oil output freeze does not imply binding document

February 20, 9:27 UTC+3
Russia plans to maintain oil production in 2016 at the last-year level
1 pages in this article
© EPA/PAUL BUCK

KRASNOYARSK, February 20. /TASS/. Oil production freeze does not imply signing of a legally binding document, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum Saturday.

"Probably there will be some kind of a joint announcement, not legally binding," he said, adding that the issue will be further clarified.

The mechanism of an agreement on freezing oil production has not been determined yet. "No, the mechanism of an agreement to freeze oil production was not determined," he said.

First Deputy Energy Minister Alexey Teksler said Friday that agreement on oil production "freeze" will help to reduce the excess in oil supply twice.

The deputy minister also pointed out that the average annual oil production in Russia in 2016 could grow by 1.5%.

The official also stressed that providing a loan to Iran is not connected with agreement on freezing oil production. 

According to the official, Venezuela initiated freezing oil production.

"Venezuela was the initiator of this topic, which over these months has suffered from low oil prices and all the time brought up the topic of taking some measures," he said.

On January 16, the talks between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and representatives of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member-states in Doha (Qatar capital) resulted in an agreement to freeze oil production at the level as of January 11.

The meeting was attended by oil and energy ministers of the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela.

The United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy Suhail Al Mazroui said February 17, that the United Arab Emirates was going to support the initiative for the preservation of oil production at the January level.

On February 16, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi said that he hoped all oil-producing countries would agree to freeze oil production level as of January 11.

"We hope that the member-countries of OPEC as well as non-members support this initiative," he said after the talks. The Minister said that "freezing" oil production at the level of January is a measure "in line with the market requirements." At the same time, he said, "the economy of Saudi Arabia would cope without any problems even with the current oil prices in the world market."

Tehran expects to be offered special provisions regarding oil production due to the fact that anti-Iran sanctions were lifted on January 16. The country insists on re-gaining its pre-sanctions market share.

In 2011, Iran was OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer with 3.6 mln barrels daily output and 2.5 mln barrels daily export. After sanctions were imposed in 2012 production dropped to 2.7 mln barrels, record lows of the previous 25 years. In 2015, the country produced an average of 2.8 mln barrels per day.

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