Russia is ready to co-operate with its OPEC+ partners to support the world oil market. even though it’s comfortable with current crude prices. President Vladimir Putin said. The OPEC+ mechanism “has already established itself as an effective tool in ensuring long-term stability in global energy markets.“ Putin told a meeting with ministers in Moscow on Sunday. The fact that Russia has large financial reserves to cushion the impact of turbulence in the market “doesn’t eliminate the need for action. including in co-operation with our foreign partners.“ he said. Putin commented ahead of the March 5-6 OPEC+ meeting in Vienna where Saudi Arabia is pushing for swift production cuts to compensate for the drop in oil demand due to coronavirus. Russia. the most important non-OPEC partner in the producers’ coalition. has so far rebuffed those entreaties. underscoring the dominant role that Putin has played since forging an alliance three years ago. Current oil prices are “acceptable“ for the Russian budget and economy. though “it is difficult to predict how long-term the trend will be.“ the president said. adding that he intended to meet later Sunday with Russian oil producers. The past week was the worst for the oil market since the 2008 financial crash and “we need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios.“ Putin said. OPEC last month slashed forecasts for global oil demand as the coronavirus hits fuel use in China. leaving the group facing a renewed glut despite its recent production cuts. The group reduced projections for demand growth in the first quarter by 440.000 barrels a day. or about a third. in its monthly report. The group collectively pumped 28.86mn barrels a day in January. and if it maintains that rate there will be a surplus of 570.000 barrels a day during the second quarter. when consumption slows down seasonally. OPEC doesn’t see the effects of the disease confined to the start of the year. bringing down its growth estimate for global oil demand in 2020 as a whole by about 230.000 barrels a day to just under 1mn a day. Still. the increase remains slightly higher than last year’s.
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