MOSCOW, March 9. /TASS/. The current situation on the oil market is within the forecasted frames however a scenario of withdrawing from the OPEC+ product cut deal is being looked at, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
"A scenario of withdrawal from the production cuts deal was looked at and the current situation on the oil market is within the forecast limits," the government press service quoted him as saying.
The minister stressed that Russia’s oil sector could boast a big margin of financial stability and would stay competitive even in conditions of low oil prices.
"Russia’s oil sector has a quality resource base and an adequate margin of financial strength to have a competitive edge in conditions of any anticipated price level and to preserve its share of the market. However the government will focus special attention to stable supplies of oil products to the domestic market and to maintaining the investment potential in the sector," he said.
Novak noted that it was OPEC’s decision to increase oil production and to plunge into competition for a market share. The organization however turned down Russia’s initiative to extend the OPEC+ deal on the current terms at least till the end of the second quarter to have a better understanding of the novel coronavirus impacts on the global economy.
"The Russian side suggested the deal be extended on the current terms at least till the end of the second quarter to have a better understanding of the situation with the coronavirus impacts on the global economy and oil demand. Nevertheless, the OPEC partners decided to increase oil production and begin competition for a market share," he said.
An OPEC source familiar with Saudi Arabia’s plans told TASS earlier in the day that Saudi Arabia considers Russia as a major partner on the oil market and has no plans to plunge into a price war with Russia. The OPEC+ mechanism, according to source is alive and viable.
The source confirmed however that nothing restricts Saudi Aramco’s plans in April, with no decision from OPEC+. The source blamed all the signatories to the deal, especially the biggest ones, for the current situation on the oil market.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg cited a source close to Russia’s oil major Rosneft as saying that Russia could increase production from April when the OPEC+ deal expires. Rosneft, Bloomberg claims, is capable of increasing output by 300,000 barrels a day.