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Azerbaijan’s president lauds extension of OPEC+ deal as wise move

Ilham Aliyev also said the issue of the prospects for Azerbaijan to join OPEC is not under consideration at the moment
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

DAVOS, January 22. /TASS/. Prolonging the deal to cap oil production within the OPEC+ structure until the end of 2019 makes economic sense because it maintains the oil market’s balance within the range of $60-70 per barrel, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev told TASS on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Davos Forum.

"I think that countries, companies and consumers are all interested in keeping the price range around $60-70 per barrel. If there is a need for an extension in order to preserve this range, I believe it would be wise to do so," the president said, in response to a question whether Azerbaijan supports the stance on the need to extend the oil output cap until the end of 2019. Aliyev also noted that a final decision on this issue would depend on a market analysis and consultations between OPEC and OPEC+ countries.

The head of state also commented on the prospects for Azerbaijan to join OPEC. The issue is not under consideration at the moment, Aliyev said. "The OPEC+ framework has already been formed, and although is not structured, it has already been effective. Therefore, I think that if non-OPEC countries will carry on with such a responsible approach to this issue, there will be no big difference between OPEC and non-OPEC members," he added.

Azerbaijan is participating in the OPEC+ oil production limiting agreement from the very start - since January 2017. The country undertook to slash its daily oil production from January 1, 2019 by 20 thousand barrels from the level of production in September 2018, to 776 thousand barrels.

The joint ministerial monitoring committee of OPEC+ will held its next meeting in Baku. "We are glad that the monitoring committee meeting will take place in the oil birthplace, where the first well in the world was drilled," the President of Azerbaijan said.

The OPEC+ deal participants made a decision last December to slash oil production by 1.2 mln barrels daily from January 1, 2019 from the reference level of October 2018.