MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russia does not plan to withdraw from the OPEC+ oil production limiting deal despite the current oil price above $70 per barrel, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Tuesday.
"We look at the balance of demand and supply in the first instance. Prices are not the main factor for us [regarding the decision to withdraw from the deal - TASS]," the minister said.
OPEC member-states and non-OPEC oil producing countries reached the agreement on reduction of oil production [the OPEC+ agreement] in late 2016.
The agreement obliges the parties to cut production by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day in comparison with the level of October 2016. Under the agreement, Saudi Arabia and Russia have the biggest cutbacks, which are 486,000 barrels per day and 300,000 barrels per day respectively.
The deal was initially valid in the first half of 2017 but since then it was extended twice: first - until the end of March 2018, and then - until the end of 2018. The goal is to remove surplus world oil reserves from the market. At the beginning of 2017 the oil reserves exceeded the five-year standard by 380 million barrels. By October, surpluses were reduced to 150 million barrels.
The energy ministers of the countries participating in the agreement have repeatedly stated that the withdrawal from the deal should be smooth. In particular, the ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia Khalid Al-Falih and Alexander Novak said earlier that the withdrawal may take 3-6 months after the deal is completed.