Russia’s not ruling out a deeper cut to oil production after OPEC disappoints

Heinz-Peter Bader | Reuters Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak (L) and Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

The energy minister of Russia has underlined how global oil producers still have the flexibility to do more to help rebalance markets just hours after OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to prolong their current agreement.

Oil prices plunged nearly 5 percent on Thursday after major exporters extended their deal to limit oil production for nine months, disappointing investors who were anticipating deeper cuts.

But Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told CNBC after the meeting that there were instruments in place to react to any situation, such as an aggressive fall in oil prices.

“You know, we have the capability to react to any situation that might arise on the market. And to this end we have a technical committee working on this every month,” he told CNBC in Vienna when asked about the possibility of deeper cuts to production.

“The ministry committee will continue to work on this basis,” he added. The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee was recently established to watch compliance on a nation-by-nation basis and is a group composed of representatives from OPEC and non-OPEC nations. Its next meeting will take place in Moscow in July.

“With regards my own forecasts, I think that within the next two months before the next meeting of the ministers in the JMMC, we will see a continuation of the rebalancing in the market, a reduction of inventories,” he continued.

“Because there is a period of increase in demand and when excess volumes leave the market that has a positive influence on the rebalancing of the market,” he said.
In December 2016, the producers decided to remove 1.8 million barrels a day from the market. Before Thursday, investors had hoped the cartel might reduce output even further to drain a global glut that has depressed the market for almost three years.When asked whether Russia would be prepared to cut deeper than its current level of around 300,000 barrels a day, Novak said it would depend “on the goals the countries have set themselves and the goals that we want to achieve.”

“Currently, we believe that the ceilings and figures that we have reached as a result of the memoir that we signed … These levels are sufficient to continue to rebalance the market,” he said.

This post was first published on cnbc.