Russia says OPEC+ decision to help budget plan, possibly boost sovereign wealth fund

FILE PHOTO: Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov attends a meeting with members of the government in Moscow, Russia March 12, 2020. Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday that the decision by OPEC+ last week to gradually increase oil output would help Russia to fulfil its budget revenue plan and also potentially grow its sovereign wealth fund.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, agreed last Thursday to slightly ease their deep oil output cuts from January by 500,000 barrels per day.

Siluanov made the comments at a government meeting by video link attended by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak who oversees ties with OPEC and Moscow’s energy policy.

Novak said that global demand for oil has improved and is currently down 6-7 million barrels per day from pre-crisis levels. That, he said, equated to a recovery of roughly 15-17 million barrels per day from the lows seen earlier this year during the height of the pandemic in spring.

He said it was important to monitor oil production in countries that are not party to the OPEC+ agreement.

“This is Canada, Norway, Brazil and other countries that have gradually, let’s say, begun becoming more active in terms of investment and production due to the market recovery and increase in prices,” he said.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Louise Heavens