1 Dec 2017 11:02

Russia to maintain oil output at 547 mln tonnes in 2018 - minister

VIENNA. Dec 1 (Interfax) - Oil production in Russia will remain at the level of 547 million tonnes in 2018, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

The principle of proportional restrictions on oil production by Russian companies will remain in place next year. However, if OPEC and non-OPEC countries decide to change production quotas in June 2018, the amounts of production could change.

"This could change in the course of the year. If it suddenly becomes expedient, the market is balanced, we won't need to continue holding such levels, perhaps it will be possible to make other decisions, aimed at gradually changing these levels," Novak said.

The proposal to have the possibility of adjusting the deal in regard to production quotas in June was mutually voiced and supported by Russia and Saudi Arabia, he said.

"This is a rational proposal [about the possible review of the terms of the deal in June], because today we can't predict with a certainty of 100% when the market will be balanced. Therefore, we have a flexible position. By extending to the end of next year, we're showing that we're intent on achieving the result, that we're prepared to work together in the long term," Novak said.

But the situation in the course of the year could vary, he said. "If the market will not be balanced, provisionally, it will be possible to think about what to do after January 1, 2019. If the situation will be much better, we will have flexibility to make any decisions aimed at not overheating the market. This was also the position of Russia, and Saudi Arabia was also willing. This is a common position, I would say," Novak said.