Russia’s Novak says OPEC+ may consider easing oil output caps in March

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

OPEC+ may consider easing oil output restrictions at their meeting in March, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.

OPEC+ decided this month to prolong its oil output restriction deal until the end of March.

It also decided to deepen the cuts in order to balance out the oil market.

It agreed to convene again in early March to discuss policy.

“We can consider any options, including gradual easing of quotas, including continuation of the deal”.

Novak told Russia’s RBC TV in an interview recorded last week.

“Everything will depend on how the situation develops in March and on the forecasts for the following quarters… At the moment, the situation is more or less stable on the market”.

Novak said that cooperation with OPEC will continue so far as it is “effective and brings results”.

He said Russia’s 2019 oil output reached a record-high 560 million tons (11.25 million bpd) and natural gas output at 737 billion cubic meters.

Oil output is up from a post-Soviet annual average record-high of 11.16 million bpd, or 555.838 million tons, it pumped in 2018.

Novak, who spoke before US President Donald Trump signed a sanctions bill on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, said that the project to complete soon.

Last week, the US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 prompted Swiss-Dutch contractor Allseas to suspend pipe-laying activities.