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PARIS, March 14. /TASS/. Decline of oil prices is due to several factors, including production growth in the United States and possible changes in the further actions of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia’s Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters.
"The reasons for decline of oil prices include several factors - quite aggressive production growth in the US, and rumors associated with a possible change of OPEC tactics. This rumor, of course, affects expectations," he said.
According to Oreshkin, the level of oil prices in the updated macro forecast for 2017 will depend on the first quarter’s figures.
Oil prices began to decline on March 8 almost immediately after the publication of the data on oil reserves by the US Department of Energy. Thus, commercial oil reserves in the US increased by 8.22 mln barrels from February 24 to March 3, amounting to 528.4 mln barrels with the forecast of growth of 1.97 mln barrels of oil. On March 8-10, price of Brent futures contract with May delivery dropped by almost $5.
On November 30, OPEC countries agreed to cut oil production to 32.5 mln barrels per day, which means those countries agreed to reduce their daily average output by 1.164 mln barrels starting January 1, 2017. Together with 11 countries outside of the organization, reduction of oil production will total 1.7-1.8 mln barrels per day.