Russia, the world’s biggest energy producer, is “on board” with an OPEC agreement to limit crude oil production to help re-balance the market, according to OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.
OPEC producers remain committed to an agreement reached last month in Algiers to trim output, and cooperation from non-OPEC producers will help bring the oil market back into balance, Barkindo told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.
Russia is due to join OPEC for talks later this month in Vienna, where OPEC will convene for its bi-annual meeting.
“We as OPEC remain committed to the Algiers accord,” Barkindo said. “I have heard from the highest quarters in Moscow that Russia is on board.”
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s oil, is trying to persuade producers from outside the group, such as Russia, to join the cuts.
OPEC wants to put the changes into effect when it meets in Vienna on Nov. 30. The group has held talks over the past weeks with producer nations Russia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Mexico.
Russia, the world’s largest energy producer, pumped at a post-Soviet record of 11.2 million barrels a day last month. With new fields ramping up production and more due to start producing before year-end, its output may climb further.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak indicated that Russia was willing to freeze production for six months or more, rather than cut, and only if OPEC reached an agreement first.
The Algiers accord helped push oil prices to a 15-month high above $50 a barrel, but crude has subsequently fallen as several OPEC states disputed production estimates that would determine the size of cuts by individual members of the group.
OPEC’s internal disagreements have also prevented a deal so far to secure the cooperation of other major suppliers after rounds of talks in Vienna. The producers will meet again later this month in Vienna.