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Most oil producing nations are already producing as much as they can, making a pledge to keep output flat irrelevant.
Most oil producing nations are already producing as much as they can, making a pledge to keep output flat irrelevant.

Putin Seeks Exemption for Iran in Oil Freeze Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Iran is starting crude production from a very low position and "it would be unfair to leave it on this sanctioned level”

Putin Seeks Exemption for Iran in Oil Freeze Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would like OPEC and Russia, producers of half of the world’s oil, to reach a deal to freeze supply and expects the dispute over Iran’s participation can be resolved.
Putin said oil producers recognize that Iran, which has mostly restored the output halted during three years of trade restrictions, deserves to complete its return to world markets, Bloomberg reported.
“Iran is starting from a very low position, connected with the well-known sanctions in relation to this country. It would be unfair to leave it on this sanctioned level,” Putin said in an interview in Russia.
“From the viewpoint of economic sense and logic, then it would be correct to find some sort of compromise. I am confident that everyone understands that. We believe that this is the right decision for world energy."
While talks collapsed in April over whether Iran should join in, countries now recognize the nation—freed just months ago from international sanctions—should be allowed to continue raising production, Putin said.
The Russian president said he may recommend completing the plan when he meets with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Group of 20 Summit in China next week.
Oil rallied more than 10% last month on speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reach an accord with non-members at an informal meeting in Algiers this month.
The prolonged slump in crude prices—stuck at half the levels seen two years ago—is battering the economies of producer nations, giving oil-market rivals cause to cooperate.
“I would very much like to hope that every participant of this market that’s interested in maintaining stable and fair global energy prices will in the end make the necessary decision,” said Putin.

------- Doha Talks
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak had been a lead player in talks with OPEC producers at the beginning of the year, which culminated in a meeting in Doha in mid-April.
The agreement collapsed just hours before it was due to be signed when Prince bin Salman insisted on Iran’s participation.
“Our Saudi partners at the last moment changed their view,” said Putin. “We didn’t reject the idea of freezing output. Our position hasn’t changed.”

Even if a deal is concluded, analysts from Commerzbank AG to Citigroup Inc. warn that simply capping output at current levels—rather than cutting production—would do little to tackle the persisting surplus in global markets.
Besides, most of the countries involved are already producing as much as they can, making a pledge to keep output flat irrelevant.
Other OPEC members, from Iran and Iraq to Libya and Nigeria, may still press on with plans to restore lost output or add new capacity, undermining the point of a “freeze”, the banks said.
While supportive of a limit, Putin’s remarks indicated that Russian production has the potential to increase.
“The oil companies, they are continuing to invest. Our oil output is increasing,” the bank noted.

 

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