Kremlin says natural fall in oil output separate from joint action

FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends the annual end-of-year news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Any natural decline in oil production due to low prices is separate from voluntary output cuts and which are part of joint agreements between oil nations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia - a group known as OPEC+ - is set to hold an on-line meeting on April 9 to discuss steps on how to stabilise oil markets hit by weak demand amid coronavirus.

Russia and other OPEC+ members have signalled that other countries, in particular the United States, should join the action this time, after benefiting from years of stable oil prices when the group voluntarily cut production.

Peskov declined to say what Russia’s position would be in the upcoming meeting. But asked on a call with reporters whether a natural decline in oil output due to weak oil prices could count, Peskov said this was not equal to a joint cut.

“These are absolutely different reductions. You are comparing overall decline in demand with cuts aimed at stabilising global markets,” Peskov said. “These are different concepts and they could not be equalled.”

Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Anastasia Teterevleva; editing by Katya Golubkova and David Evans