9 Aug 2019 15:59

Decision to prolong OPEC+ deal until March 31 taken in light of expected slowdown of oil demand growth to 1 bln bpd in 2020 - Novak

MOSCOW. August 9 (Interfax) - The decision to prolong the OPEC+ deal through March 2020 was taken on the basis of the expected slowdown in the growth of demand for oil next year to 1 million bpd, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Interfax.

The International Energy Agency has lowered its forecast for the growth of global oil demand in 2019 by 100,000 bpd, to 1.1 million; its 2020 forecast was lowered by 50,000 bpd, to 1.3 million.

"In general, the IEA's assessments aren't unexpected for us; they're more of a confirmation of our own forecasts. In deciding to prolong the agreements, we took into account the possibility of a slowdown in growth of demand for oil to the levels specified or even lower (including a decrease in the growth of demand to 1 million bpd in 2020)," Novak said.

"Thus, this forecast confirms the decision to have producers cooperate to maintain balance in the oil market for the sake of its stabilization," he said.