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Brent oil prices over $35 on Russia's confirmation of talks with OPEC

January 28, 17:21 UTC+3
The Russian energy minister is ready to take part in the meeting with OPEC to discuss potential production cuts in order to increase the price of crude oil
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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. The price of Brent crude oil futures contract for March delivery on London’s ICE rose by 5.7% to $35.01 per barrel for the first time since January 6, 2016.

Oil price increased following the statements of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak about being ready to take part in the upcoming meeting of the OPEC and non-OPEC members in February.

Russia on Thursday confirmed its participation in the meeting of OPEC member-states and other oil producers for discussing low oil prices and coordination of a potential crude production cut due in February.

"Currently the OPEC member-states are trying to convene a meeting with participation of other OPEC (member-states) and non-(member-states) in February. Certain countries have come forward with this initiative, currently the issue is being worked out with the countries. On our part we’ve confirmed our potential participation in such a meeting," Novak said.

Alexander Novak said he is ready to take part in the upcoming meeting though the question of its level hasn’t been solved yet.

"There's been an invitation to meet at the ministerial level. In fact, there is no final agreement yet. It will be held on the ministerial level if all ministers confirm [their participation] and in case they don’t [the meeting will be held] at the level of experts," Novak said on Thursday.

Venezuela was one of the initiators of the meeting, the minister said. "We communicate with him [Venezuela’s energy minister] on the phone," he said, adding that Venezuela "has sent an official application to Qatar presiding in OPEC to convene such a meeting."

According to the minister, the date for the meeting has not been set yet. "The date does not depend on us. We can meet any time. The date is being agreed with other countries now," he added.

Similar meetings have been held earlier, Novak said, though now the situation has changed due to continuing plunge of prices. "Everyone estimates how long those prices will be recovering. We think it’s reasonable to discuss the situation," the minister said.

Consultations with OPEC may focus on 5% reduction of oil production by each state

According to the official, the consultations may focus on reduction of crude oil production by up to 5% by each country.

"In fact when we last discussed (the issue) we generally focused not on the Russian Federation but on all countries engaged in production and export of oil, with those parameters being announced on reduction of output by up to 5% by each country," Novak said.

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