Russia Says Oil Market Situation Improving

Russia Says Oil Market Situation ImprovingRussia Says Oil Market Situation Improving

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the oil market was improving with production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members, including Russia, trimming surplus supply that had squeezed prices for years, but declined to say whether the output reductions would be extended.

Novak, speaking to reporters on a visit to Tokyo on Friday, said prospects for an extension of the deal, set to expire at the end of June, into the second half of the year would be discussed next month, Reuters reported.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers meet on May 25 to discuss extending curbs agreed last year that cut crude oil output by 1.8 million barrels daily, two-thirds of that from OPEC.

“It is up to the discussion of the (ministerial) meeting (in May),” he told reporters. “At the moment we are analyzing the condition of the market and trying to develop a prognosis.”

“As we see now the situation is gradually improving from the beginning of March,” said Novak. “The surplus amount of oil has been reduced. The situation is getting more and more stable and there’s less volatility on the market.”

Novak said that current oil prices are reflective of the market situation, with benchmark Brent prices now around $53 a barrel. The minister said last week Russia will cut its crude oil production by 300,000 barrels per day by the end of April as agreed with other major producers.


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