By September 1, 2016 Read More →

Russian energy minister plays down oil output freeze discussion

oil output freeze

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak played down potential for a possible oil output freeze. Reuters photo by Sergei Karpukhin.

Oil output freeze may not happen with higher oil prices

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday trends in the global oil market and its overall situation should be discussed at a meeting of oil ministers in Algeria later this month, but played down the potential for talks on a possible oil output freeze.

“The topic of the freeze, this is a separate topic which needs a separate discussion because the situation today is somewhat different from what it was in February … and in April,” Novak told reporters, noting that prices were now higher.

“I think that we will discuss at the meeting, if the meeting will take place, the situation in the whole in the (oil) markets,” he said.

OPEC members will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF), which groups producers and consumers, in Algeria on Sept. 26-28.

OPEC will probably revive talks on freezing oil production levels when it meets non-OPEC nations in Algeria, sources say.

A previous attempt to jointly cap oil production failed in April when oil producers could not come to an agreement over a number of issues, including Iran’s plans to restore its output to a pre-sanctions level.

“The oil price is volatile, the price is significantly higher comparing to winter and in April. We have to look at what will happen to oil markets now … to carry out a high quality assessment on how the balance of supply and demand will pan out in the second half of the year,” Novak said.

He said that force majeures should be take into account while making an assessment of the oil market, including the situation in Canada, Libya and Iraq.

Novak also said he may meet his counterparts from Iran and Saudi Arabia at the forum, which is scheduled for the end of September.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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