Novak: Oil Price of $40-43 per Barrel More or Less Balanced

The Russian Ministry of Energy considers the current oil price of $40-43 per barrel more or less balanced and does not expect price changes after the weakening of the OPEC+ production restrictions, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters, TASS reported.

“No, we do not expect it, because the market is already conscious of it,” he said, answering a question about whether a change in oil prices is expected in connection with the transition of OPEC+ to some growth in production.

Speaking about the price expectations, Novak said that “now [the oil price] has been holding for a month at the level of $40-43, the price is more or less balanced.”

Oil companies will independently make decisions on the supply of additional oil produced in connection with the growth of production under OPEC+, but it is important to ensure the Russian market first, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

“Of course, companies make decisions regarding the execution of their contracts, agreements, but it is important for us to provide for the domestic market, it usually grows in summer. We are increasing it by about 400,000 barrels [per day],” Novak said, answering a question about how much oil can go to the domestic market and how much to export, after Russia begins to increase production as part of the weakening of OPEC+ quotas.

Earlier, Novak said that Russian oil companies, as was previously assumed under the OPEC+ deal, would be able to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in August 2020 in proportion to their production level.

The OPEC+ agreement entered into force on May 1, it assumes a reduction in oil production by the alliance countries by 9.7 mln bpd during May-July. Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the agreements, will reduce oil production by equal shares – 2.5 mln bpd from the base level of 11 mln bpd. The agreements will be in effect for two years, but from August to December 2020, 7.7 mln bpd will be cut within the framework of the deal, and from January 2021 to the end of April 2022 – 5.8 mln bpd. The deal’s parameters may be revised in December 2021.

In June, Russia completed the OPEC+ deal to reduce oil production by 99%, reducing oil and condensate production by 16.6% to 38.16 mln tonnes. In August, a smooth transition to production recovery will begin, as stipulated in the agreement. At the same time, companies will increase their volumes in proportion to the level of their production.

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