MOGILEV, May 12. /TASS/. The talks on crude production freeze are not under way between oil-producing nations now, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday, adding though that Russia is ready to get back to the issue in case it is raised.
"No talks on crude production freeze are under way anymore, but if they resume, Russia is ready to get back to the discussion. In general the price environment is stable," Novak said, adding that many oil exporters are satisfied with the current oil price.
"If it is reasonable and necessary, if certain countries, including OPEC-members, are consolidated in coming forward with this initiative in order to make agreements f
easible I think we can obviously consider the issue (on output freeze)," the minister said.
According to Novak, it was not Russia that initiated the talks on crude production freeze. "It was a consolidated position of a number of countries," he said.
Russia’s Energy Ministry does not see any reasons to revise its oil production forecast for 2016, it is possible that this year oil production may exceed 540 mln tonnes.
"No, so far there are no grounds. The social-economic development forecast sets oil production at 538 mln tonnes this year. But it can be more, there are expectations. I think that it will be 540 mln tonnes or perhaps a bit more," the minister said
Novak said that in January-April oil output increased by 2.6% year-on-year.
"If we take January-April period - we have an increase of 2.6% in comparison with the same period of last year. If in April the production dropped - that is not catastrophic. There could be a margin of error, but in general we have an increase of 2.6%, the growth is about 4.5 million tonnes," the Minister said.
Oil production in Russia in 2016 is expected to reach 537-540 million tonnes, in 2017 - 537 million tonnes. According to the Central Dispatching Department of Fuel Energy Complex, in 2015, Russian oil companies produced a record 534 081 000 tonnes, which is 1.4% higher than a year earlier.
Novak also pointed out that estimations of OPEC countries significantly increasing oil production are slightly exaggerated. According to Russia’s estimations, growth totals 100,000 barrel per day.
"Estimations of OPEC countries significantly increasing oil production are slightly exaggerated. According to our data, they added 100,000 barrels. I think that in general, OPEC has the possibility to increase it, but it depends on the way they will conduct their policy, each country. Many external factors sometimes affect production volumes - oil pipeline accidents, fires in Canada," Novak said.
According to the minister, the global oil market may reach the balance not earlier than the first half of 2017.
"I think our estimates have not changed. The balance cannot be achieved earlier than the first half of 2017, according to optimistic outlooks," Novak said.
Surplus production of oil continues and is about 1.5 mln bbl per day. Novak said. "Production decline is at a lower rate than predicted by many analysts," the minister added.
The balance of oil demand and offer will be restored in 12 - 18 months, Novak said earlier
On April 17, representatives of 18 oil-producing countries met in Doha (Qatar). Iran refused to discuss the oil production freeze saying it was unwilling to "give up its historic production quota."
The participants of the talks failed to reach an agreement on oil production cap. After 12 hours of talks the parties said they needed some more time for consideration.
According to Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the oil output freeze agreement was not reached as several countries changed their positions. He also said Russia did not expect new initiatives on stabilization of crude oil output before the OPEC summit in June this year.