9 Mar 2020 19:30

Oil market's reaction to OPEC+ deal breakup 'within forecast', Russian oil cos set to protect market share - Novak

MOSCOW. March 9 (Interfax) - The oil market's reaction to the collapse of the OPEC+ oil output cut deal has been predictable for Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday.

The ministers of the OPEC+ countries did not decide to extend the oil output cut agreement at a meeting in Vienna on March 6, Novak said at an unscheduled meeting (as March 9 is a day-off in Russia this year as part of the International Women's Day celebration marked on March 8). The Russian side proposed prolonging the agreement on effective conditions at least until the end of Q2 this year in order to comprehend better the situation surrounding the coronavirus impact on the global economy and on the oil demand, the Russian government website said, citing Novak. In spite of that, the OPEC partners decided to increase the oil production and fight for a share on the oil market, the Russian minister said.

"The scenario for the withdrawal from the oil output cut agreement was considered and the current situation on the oil market is within the forecast," Novak is quoted, as saying in a statement published on the government website following the meeting.

"The Russian oil industry possesses a qualitative resource base and a sufficient margin of financial safety in order to remain competitive with any forecast level of prices, as well as to retain its share on the market. At the same time, the government will pay particular attention to steady oil product supplies to the domestic market and preserving the investment potential in the sector," the energy minister said.