Russian oil producers, ministry discussed 6-month output cut extension: TASS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s oil producers and energy ministry have discussed a six-month extension to global oil output cuts, TASS news agency reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed meeting participants, shorter than a 9-month extension floated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at an oil field owned by Russian state-owned oil producer Bashneft near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest of Ufa, Bashkortostan, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Energy Minister Alexander Novak and domestic oil producers held a meeting last week to discuss the deal, which is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2018.

“The extension by half a year was discussed. Everybody has agreed except for Gazprom Neft, as the company expects to launch new projects in 2018,” TASS quoted one of the sources, who took part in the meeting.

The firm denied the report later on Tuesday, saying “the Energy Ministry and the companies, including Gazpronm Neft, continue discussions on the variants of the development of the deal OPEC+.”

“A consolidated position of the Russian companies and the state is being formed by the Energy Ministry,” Gazprom Neft said in a statement.

TASS cited another source as saying that the final decision could be made at a meeting between producers and the ministry by the end of November.

Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Nov. 30.

Novak said on Monday Russia would determine its position on a possible extension of the deal later in November.

He also said he would discuss the possible deal extension with Russian oil producers on Tuesday.

The ministry did not respond to written questions. Gazprom Neft’s spokesman declined to comment.

Reuters reported last month, citing OPEC sources, that producers were leaning towards prolonging the agreement until the end of 2018, though the decision could be postponed until early next year depending on the market.

Putin said in October that the deal between OPEC and rival oil producers could be extended to the end of 2018.

OPEC plus Russia and nine other producers, have cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day since January.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans