MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is against calling the results of talks in Doha a "failure." Novak said his ministry was confident about the success of oil production freeze half an hour before the start of the meeting in Doha.
"Just half an hour before the start of the meeting we were confident that the Saudi side would take part [in the signing of the agreement - TASS.] and agree with the common position that had been reached back in February," he told reporters.
Alexander Novak said that he does not plan to hold separate meetings with Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi and Oil Minister of Iran Bijan Namdar Zangeneh.
"No, no separate meetings are planned. If there are meetings, they will be only in the framework of the development of trade and economic cooperation, bilateral relations," he told reporters.
According to him, Russia and Saudi Arabia will continue cooperation after the meeting in Doha, while the lack of agreement on oil output freeze won’t affect relations between two countries.
Novak pointed out that Russia’s Energy Ministry has not received invitation to OPEC summit in Vienna yet. According to him, the Russian ministry is not confident yet that OPEC will manage to agree on oil production freeze.
"We have not received any invitations. There is still plenty of time before the summit, OPEC countries will hold consultations with each other. If they agree [on production freeze - TASS.], Maybe they will invite countries outside of OPEC," he said.
"Russia is positive [about consultations -TASS]. We are ready to hold such consultations," Novak said.
"Now I would not say that we are confident that they can agree among themselves, because there are very different positions. In OPEC there are quite large disagreements between countries," Novak said.
The minister also notred that oil production in Russia could exceed 540 mln tonnes in 2016.
First Deputy Energy Minister Alexey Teksler said earlier that oil production in Russia will be about 537 mln tonnes in 2017, followed by decline.
"We assume we will reach the plateau. A long-term fluctuation is most likely [after reaching the oil rate plateau - TASS] to take place then. My forecast for the next year - 537 mln tonnes," the official said.
Russia produced the record-breaking 534 mln tonnes in 2015. The Energy Ministry expects production will rise to 536-540 mln tonnes this year.