March 7, 2020 / 2:59 PM / 3 months ago

Kazakhstan set for cost cutting with oil at $40/bbl: minister

VIENNA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan is working on measures to cut costs with oil prices nearing $40 per barrel, Energy Minister Nurlan Nogayev told Reuters on Saturday following the collapse of international oil talks in Vienna.

Oil slid to its biggest daily loss in more than 11 years on Friday after Russia balked at OPEC’s proposed steep production cuts to stabilize prices hit by economic fallout from the coronavirus, and OPEC responded by removing limits on its own production.

Brent futures had their biggest daily percentage decline since December 2008, falling by $4.72, or 9.4%, to settle at $45.27 a barrel on Friday. It was Brent’s lowest closing price since June 2017.

“We have budgeted oil price at $50-$55 (per barrel). If it falls to $40 and below, the government has a plan to optimize the costs and we are already working on it,” Nogayev said.

He did not rule out another meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers by the end of March.

Kazakhstan’s oil and gas condensate production edged up last year to 90.5 million tonnes from 90.4 million tonnes in 2018.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova in Vienna; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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