Russia's Novak says OPEC+ may discuss underperformers this month: RIA

FILE PHOTO: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends the Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may discuss this month countries which have lagged in reducing their oil output under a global oil cut deal, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying on Monday.

Saudi Arabia, which chairs a ministerial panel that monitors adherence with the oil cuts, has been heading efforts to press laggards such as Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Angola to improve compliance with the reductions and compensate for their overproduction in July-September.

Asked if the laggards have requested to extend the period for improving their compliance, RIA news agency quoted Novak as saying: “I have no information on that.”

“We have a planned meeting of the JMMC on (Sept.) 17. I think, we will discuss all those issues,” he said.

Last week, Iraq sent contradictory statements about its position on the deal to reduce oil production.

It has said it remained fully committed to the OPEC+ oil supply cut agreement, denying an earlier media report that it was seeking an exemption from the reduction pact during the first quarter of 2021.

The OPEC and allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, are currently cutting output by 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) until December to support prices as the coronavirus crisis hammers demand.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman spoke by phone on Monday and said they were satisfied with how the deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to limit oil output was being implemented, according to the Kremlin.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova; editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise