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MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. The issue of oil production cut is not currently considered by oil-producing countries, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday.
"There are proposals on (oil production - TASS) freeze while the reduction of output (by 5% - TASS) has not been proposed," he said.
"This option - at least according to the information I have on our discussion with other ministers and other countries - is not being considered," Novak added when asked whether the issue of the 5% crude production cut by oil-producing countries is being discussed.
The issue of potential freezing of global crude production was revived following the announcement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 2 that he was supporting the agreement with OPEC on production growth restraint. He also expressed hope that other crude producers would support the initiative.
On September 5, Russia and Saudi Arabia that control more than 21% of global crude consumption, signed a joint statement on the sidelines of the G20 summit aimed at stabilizing the oil market. According to Novak, the countries are considering the option of freezing crude production volumes for three or six months.
The previous meeting focused on crude production freeze took place in Qatar’s Doha on April 17. Representatives of 18 oil-producing countries (Iran refused to participate) failed to reach an agreement on oil production cap and after 12 hours of talks said they needed more time for consideration.
Earlier Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told TASS that there are chances that oil exporters would agree on oil production freeze, but they are not 100%.
The International Energy Forum will be held on September 26-28 in Algeria, where the countries - exporters of oil are going to negotiate the potential oil production freeze. Venezuela, Ecuador and Kuwait are initiators of the discussion. Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have already confirmed their participation in private talks.
At the same time, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said Thursday the issue of oil production cut has not been agreed with Russian oil companies:
"I’ve said that the issue was discussed with companies during the year. Agreed means signed, which was not the case," he said when asked whether the question of crude production cut had been agreed with oil producers.
According to Molodtsov, there is no legally binding document.
However, he added, "a 5% reduction is possible technically" in case Russia reaches an agreement on crude production stabilization with OPEC member-states.