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OPEC chief: Russia is strongly involved in consultations on oil production freeze

September 27, 17:11 UTC+3 ALGIERS
The informal meeting of the OPEC countries on September 28 will be held without Russia
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© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

ALGIERS, September 27. /TASS/. Russia is involved in a discussion about oil production freeze despite the fact that its delegation will not take part in the informal meeting of OPEC on September 28, the organization's Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum in Algiers.

"Russia is strongly involved in these consultations," he said, answering the question of what an agreement on the freeze could be, if Russia does not participate in the consultations.

Barkindo stressed that OPEC is closely cooperating with Russia, and also mentioned his meeting with Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak earlier today.

On September 28, at the International Energy Forum in Algeria, the countries-exporters of oil will hold an informal meeting. Russia will not take part in the informal meeting.

As was reported earlier OPEC is considering four options of freezing crude production: at the level of January or August of 2016, as well as at the average level of the first or the second half of this year.

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. Iran refused to participate in the talks due to recently lifted international sanctions.

Admission of new members

According to Barkindo, OPEC does not rule out admission of new members to the organization.

"Yes. We just welcomed back Gabon, Indonesia. We are now 14. We will wait and see who is interested in joining," he said answering a question from TASS.

Gabon once again became a part of the organization in June. The country has already been part of OPEC in 1975-1994. In January 1995, Gabon left OPEC due to disagreement over the membership fee. On January 1, 2009, Indonesia has also left the organization (joined in 1962), as it lost its status as an oil exporter (production volume declined sharply, the country needed to increase supply to the domestic market). However, at the end of 2015, Indonesia once against joined OPEC.

OPEC currently includes 14 countries: Angola, Venezuela, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Algeria and Gabon.

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