Russia expects OPEC+ to ease oil production cuts in August

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OPEC+ is not discussing or planning changes to its production cut agreement, which should see the oil producers ease the cuts in August, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at an online conference on Thursday.

OPEC+, led by Russia and OPEC’s top producer Saudi Arabia, agreed in June to extend the record production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by one month through the end of July. 

According to the original agreement reached in April, OPEC+ was to cut 9.7 million bpd in combined production for two months—May and June—and then ease these to 7.7 million bpd, to stay in effect until the end of the year. Then, from January 2021, the production cuts would be further eased to 5.8 million bpd, to remain in effect until end-April 2022.

The group is not discussing any changes to the parameters of the deal for after July, Novak said, noting that the producers would thus start to ease the record cuts of 9.7 million bpd to 7.7 million bpd.

Commenting on the global oil supply during the demand crash in April, the Russian minister said that the oil glut likely reached 1 billion barrels when demand was worst hit in the pandemic and the measures to contain it.

But OPEC+ has started to influence the supply-demand balance, and the oversupply continued to shrink in June, he added.

“I hope that figures in July will show that we have reached market balance and even a deficit in supply,” Novak said.  

While Russia expects that the OPEC+ production cuts will start easing in August, OPEC’s leader Saudi Arabia is still busy trying to have laggards in the deal, such as Iraq, Nigeria, and Angola, fall in line with their quotas and compensate for previous non-compliance in May and June.

READ MORE: Surviving assassination attempts and being kidnapped by Carlos the Jackal: The extraordinary life of the oil man who was Mr OPEC

Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has threatened a new oil price war unless Angola and Nigeria toe the line, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, quoting delegates.   

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

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