Russia energy minister says oil talks with Saudi developing

Alexander Novak said the door is still open for further consultations on a production freeze



Russia, the world’s top oil producer, is consulting with Saudi Arabia and other producers to achieve oil market stability, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that the door is still open for more discussions on freezing output levels if needed.

In an interview published on Monday Novak also told Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that a complete return of market stability is only likely in 2017.

“With regard to the cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the dialogue between our two countries is developing in a tangible way, whether in the framework of a multi-party structure or on a bilateral level,” Novak was quoted as saying.

“We are cooperating in the framework of consultations regarding the oil market with OPEC countries and producers from outside the organisation, and are determined to continue dialogue to achieve market stability,” he said.

“We are ready to achieve the widest possible level of coordination… and put in place joint measures to achieve oil market stability, with the condition that these measures will not be for a limited period of time.”

Novak’s comments come only days after Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would work with OPEC and non-OPEC members to help stabilise oil markets.

An informal meeting of major producing countries is scheduled in Algeria late next month.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF), which groups producers and consumers, in Algeria from Sept. 26-28.

Oil prices extended gains after Falih’s remarks on Thursday, which indicated that Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, is worried that oil prices could fall towards $40 per barrel or lower due to oversupply.

Talks on a global oil production level freeze collapsed in April. OPEC member Iran has been the main opponent of a freeze as it looks to raise its output to levels seen before the imposition of now-ended Western sanctions.

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