29 Feb 2024 15:27

Still too soon to talk about OPEC+ output plans for April, current situation on oil market normal - deputy PM

MOSCOW. Feb 29 (Interfax) - The current situation on the oil market is normal, and there is a balance between supply and demand owing to the actions of OPEC+, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

"The current situation has been normal for several months, and the balance between supply and demand has been forming at this level owing to the actions of OPEC+," Novak said.

Novak did not say whether extending the current voluntary restrictions to which several OPEC+ countries are adhering in the first quarter of 2024 was under consideration. "It is still too early to talk about this," Novak said.

Novak also said that it was not important whether Russia reduces exports of oil or petroleum products as part of its voluntary commitments, though a total volume of 500,000 barrels per day is important.

"This is not so important. What is important is that the total volume be in line with 500,000 bpd. Subtle fluctuations that could be in one direction or another are typical, because the planned figures have been quite approximate," Novak said.

The latest voluntary OPEC+ cuts of 2.2 million bpd came into force as of January, which a number of the alliance countries announced following the online meeting at the end of November. Consequently, Saudi Arabia has continued reducing production by 1 million bpd in the first quarter of 2024. Iraq has pledged to reduce oil output by 223,000 bpd; the United Arab Emirates by 163,000 bpd; Kuwait by 135,000 bpd; Kazakhstan by 82,000 bpd; Algeria by 51,000 bpd; and Oman by 42,000 bpd. Russia has pledged to cut exports of oil and petroleum products by 500,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2024 versus May-June 2023 (300,000 bpd of oil and 200,000 bpd of petroleum products), while the reduction was 300,000 bpd before December.