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Russia expected agreement on freezing oil production to be signed — Novak

April 17, 22:34 UTC+3
Agreement on freezing oil production was not concluded due to changes in position of several countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said
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Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© Dmitry Astakhov/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

DOHA, April 17. /TASS/. Russia is ready to take part in another meeting on oil production freezing like the one in Doha in case the countries reach necessary agreements by an OPEC summit in June, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday after the Doha talks.

"In general, we expected an agreement would be reached and I thought the countries that have come here did it in a bid to reach an agreement but not to discuss the necessity of participation in this process of countries that did not take part," he said. "Nevertheless, non-OPEC countries, including Russia, will be ready to look at a possibility to take part in another meeting is such agreements are reached."

Change of position

Participants in the Doha meeting have failed to reach an agreement as a number of OPEC member countries changed their position on oil production freezing, Alexander Novak said.

"These countries [that advanced additional demands] were Saudi Arabia and a number of other OPEC countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar - mostly countries of the Gulf… This positions was spoken out, widely discussed but we have failed to reach common ground," he noted.

Russia to continue monitoring situation, it is necessary to agree on freezing oil production within OPEC, said Novak.

Oil market will get stabilized

Russian Energy Minister stated that oil market to come into balance by mid-2017, with agreement on freezing oil production it would happen 3 months earlier.

"Judging by the current tendencies and future demand and supply growth on the market, as well as by shrinking investments, we arrived at a conclusion that the market is to get balanced by mid-2017," he said.

Iran’s position is not the only reason

Novak added that Iran’s position is not the key cause of the failure at the Doha talks of oil exporter countries on oil production freeze.

"How can a country that did not take part in the meeting be a reason for a failure to reach agreements? It didn’t even take part in today’s discussion," Novak said.

He said the absence of agreements on freeze will not affect the change of oil production volumes in Russia as the state does not regulate such issues in companies’ activity.

Novak said cooperation on oil production freeze might be resumed but possibilities for that are shrinking due to differences between the sides.

"Possibilities do exist. But as for agreements, well, judging by today’s heated debates,… taking into account Iran’s position,… we will not be that optimistic about such agreements," he said.

The minister noted that Russia takes positions of the OPEC countries on possible oil production freeze agreement with understanding.

Novak said Russia will watch the positions of OPEC member countries which are first to reach agreement on oil production freeze inside the organization.

"Prospects and expectation were that we will be able to reach agreement… On the other hand, consultations will be continued. We shall see which decision is taken by OPEC member countries, whether they are able to reach agreement between themselves that they all must take part in the freeze of oil production," he said.

Impact on Russia

The lack of agreement on oil production freeze will have no impacts on Russia, Novak said.

"I don’t think it will have any impacts on Russia as out companies continue to operate on the market with a high degree of competitiveness. We think the market situation will level the balance of demand and supply," he said.

Novak said consultations will be continued and later it will become clear which solution OPEC countries may reach and whether they are able to recognize they all must take part in the oil production freeze agreement.

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