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MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia will take a decision on whether to prolong the current agreement on cuts in the output of crude oil proceeding from four factors, one of which is the situation around commercial reserves of the crude and the balance of demand and supply, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Saturday in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyasah.
"It is too early to speculate about it now as there exist the following decisive factors the situation on the market, the balance of demand and supply, the situation around commercial reserves, and the efficiency of the effective agreement," he said.
Novak indicated nonetheless it would be highly desirable to consider a return to the issue in May when the committee in charge of monitoring compliance with the cuts met in Vienna. Russia would be able to take the final decision by then.
"It’s highly desirable to take up the issue at a ministerial session of the monitoring committee in May again," he said. "A detailed analysis of the market situation will be done then and only after it there will be an opportunity to take additional steps."
Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid A. Al-Falih said earlier the OPEC member-nations were set to prolong the agreement in May. He spoke in encouraging terms about the results of that arrangement and said OPEC had firm readiness to extend the deal further.
Members of the oil cartel agreed to cut down their output by 1.2 million barrels a day versus the October 2016 production levels to 32.5 million barrels at a conference in Vienna on November 30, 2016. On that day, the price of Brent oil made a hike of more than $ 3 per barrel.
Eleven oil producing countries that are not OPEC members agreed on December 10 to slash their production by 558,000 barrels per day. The Russian share in that figure was 300,000 barrels and the agreement covered the first six months of 2017.
The next OPEC conference will likely take place on May 25, 2017. Participants in it are expected to discuss prolongation of the agreement for another six months.