Russia calls on OPEC+ to decide on deal closer to April: TASS


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday he would prefer if OPEC and its non-OPEC allies took a decision closer to April on whether to extend their oil output deal, the TASS news agency reported.

The comments are likely to be opposed by most of OPEC’s members, which are aiming to clinch a new output deal at a meeting with non-OPEC nations in Vienna on Dec. 5-6.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC oil exporters have coordinated their output for three years to balance the market and support prices. Their current deal is due to expire at the end of March.

“It’s too early to talk, we have the agreement until April 1. Today it is still November. Why should we be asking questions in November about the month of April?” Novak was quoted as saying.

Russia is likely to call on fellow oil producers to change the way Moscow’s output is measured at the meeting in Vienna, Russian and OPEC sources say.

Moscow wants light oil gas condensates to be excluded from measurements when its output is calculated.

Gas condensate accounts for 7-8% of Russia’s total oil production, Novak was cited as saying on Friday.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Maria Kiselyova and Edmund Blair