OPEC + must study oil markets, not take hasty measures – Russian Deputy PM
Energy ministers from OPEC+ countries study the effect on oil markets of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but have no intention of taking hasty decisions, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said.

The appearance of a new variant always calls for such an assessment because governments of different countries could adopt restrictive measures,” Novak said on the sidelines of the Russian-Chinese energy business forum. “We have to look at how the situation develops. We have to monitor markets very carefully.”

    The Monitoring Committee and energy ministers will meet on 2nd December, but participants have issued no statements or proposals on adopting urgent measures in relation to the new Covid variant. It had been expected that participants in the meeting would discuss the planned increase in oil production of 400,000 barrels per day every month until February 2022.

    “But despite that, we will additionally discuss with OPEC+ countries the situation on markets and if any measures are warranted,” Novak said. “In order to work this out in detail, the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee was shifted so that we may secure more information about current events, including the new variant of the virus.”

    For the moment, there was no need for OPEC+ to take hasty measures in an urgent fashion. “Everything needs to be monitored and considered with great care. Hasty decisions are not needed,” Novak added.

    The deputy prime minister noted that the previous day, on the basis of news about the variant, the price of oil fell by 11 %, but it recovered a day later by nearly 4%.

    Speaking at the Russian-Chinese energy business form, Novak said that Russia remained prepared to boost energy supplies on world markets, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Over the past decade Russia had increased oil exports to China sixfold and gas supplies had also been increased. Electricity supplies could also be boosted from levels this year of about 4 billion KWh.     “Russia’s Inter RAO and the State Grid Corporation of China are examining the possibility of further increases in the volume of Russian electricity exports to China,” Novak said.


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