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Russia stands by OPEC oil production commitments

Russia's oil minister said Tuesday the country will be in full compliance by the end of April, at the latest.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Russia offers assurances it will be in full compliance with OPEC production commitments by the end of April. File photo by ekina/Shutterstock
Russia offers assurances it will be in full compliance with OPEC production commitments by the end of April. File photo by ekina/Shutterstock

April 11 (UPI) -- Russia will be 100 percent in compliance with the terms of a production deal coordinated by OPEC by the end of the month, Russia's oil minister said.

Russia is the largest contributor among non-member states to a deal implemented in January by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. According to Russian news agency Tass, total crude oil production from Russia last month was 11.04 million barrels per day, a decline from the benchmark used by OPEC of 202,300 barrels per day, or about 67 percent of its quota.

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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that, at the very least, full compliance to a cut of 250,000 barrels per day could come by the end of the month, possibly sooner.

"We will deliver," he was quoted by Tass as saying.

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Russia last year was producing oil at or near post-Soviet highs. According to the economists at OPEC, Russian oil companies were winning out because a decline in the value of the ruble made it economic to produce more oil for more revenue.

Russia's rhetoric has been more bullish than actual figures would indicate and Novak in February was already discussing the possibility of accelerated declines. OPEC's market report for February said production from non-member states is expected to increase, but only marginally because of an offset from small declines in Russia.

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A survey of compliance with the deal from pricing group S&P Global Platts finds "relatively strong adherence" among contributors. Many of the 11 producers outside OPEC contributing to the deal are moving slowly on implementation or relying on natural declines.

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Parties to the agreement meet at the end of May to consider a possible six-month extension.

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