Russian Federation ready to meet with OPEC over low oil prices

Arab on seaside in traditional clothing

Russian Federation ready to meet with OPEC over low oil prices

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters that oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC nations may meet in February to discuss the possibility of production cuts.

Also, the odds were against Russian Federation since its annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Syria, with the West doing all it could to alienate the country and denying its products market access. Novak stressed it is "too early" to call anything a concrete agreement. The International Energy Agency warned this month that further declines in oil prices are possible as the world risks "drowning in oversupply", and demand fades amid slowing growth in China. WTI prices were $0.1 per barrel more than Brent crude oil prices in the last week.

However, Russian government have long said they wouldn't reduce oil production because it would be hard to restart wells in cold oil-producing regions.

United States crude oil prices, which recently fell below the $US30 threshold, climbed as high of $US34.82 a barrel.

A senior Gulf OPEC delegate said that Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia are willing to cooperate on any action to stabilize the oil market.

"If OPEC proposes to Russia production limits that do not undermine Russia's long-term objectives, and key Russian producers back the deal, Russia may indeed agree to production limits", said analysts from US based ESAI Energy.

In Russia, the roble hit an all-time low, street protests have flared in Azerbaijan and investors are concerned about a potential debt default by OPEC member Venezuela.

But analysts at Barclays Capital were unimpressed: "We remain highly skeptical that such a meeting will result in credible cuts in supply; thus, we see this as nothing more than an attempt to shift market sentiment, and we do not expect that it will change the physical market imbalance".

The proposal did not come directly from Saudi Arabia but rather from OPEC members Venezuela and Algeria, one Gulf OPEC source said.

Spending on global oil and gas exploration and production will fall nearly 20 percent this year to about $450 billion, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd, and independent United States explorers are expected to report losses totaling more than $15 billion this earnings season.

Anticipation that OPEC and non-OPEC producers could coordinate production cuts has supported the market most of this week, and the three-day rally was the first seen this year.

If Russia and OPEC actually go down such an improbable route, then it would a victory for independent USA upstarts on an epic scale.

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