6 Oct 2017 22:19

Possible severance of Iran nuclear deal doesn't jeopardize OPEC+ agreement - Novak

MOSCOW. Oct 6 (Interfax) - Possible severance of the Iran nuclear deal by the United States does not endanger the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries on reducing oil production to balance the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

"I can air only my personal opinion. In my view, this is unlikely to lead to the agreement's disruption. We have as an example the situation concerning Qatar in the Middle East. It is a signatory of the deal [OPEC+], and it is continuing to adhere to its obligations on reducing production, and we keep meeting," Novak said in an interview with the Business FM radio station on Friday.

"The Qatari minister was here, at Russian Energy Week. We had a ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Among other things, we discussed issues concerning oil and cooperation in this sector here. And nothing has changed here in this respect, and therefore I hope we will finalize the deal. The market will be balanced, and, in principle, we should switch to a normal market-based track," he said.

If the deal with Iran is severed and "some tough measures are introduced, such as those that had been in place before the sanctions were lifted from Iran, this would affect the markets very much, as was the case in previous years," he said.

"Everything will depend on what decisions could be made. If it's sanctions concerning oil and restrictions on oil trade with Iran, that's one situation. If it's some other sanctions or if there are no sanctions at all, it's a different one," Novak said when asked how the market could react to the Iran nuclear deal's possible severance.

"Iran is one of the countries producing a very large amount of oil and supplying it to global markets. They produce 3.8 million barrels a day now. We remember that, when the sanctions were imposed, production volume declined significantly. Iran then produced less than 3 million [barrels], and therefore these volumes are surely considerable for the market," he said.