x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Russia ready to work with Opec

Iran's oil minister said on Monday Opec might meet before its planned gathering in December.

TEHRAN // Iran's oil minister said on Monday Opec might meet before its planned gathering in December if current market conditions continued and added non-Opec producers should help the group manage supply and demand. Gholamhossein Nozari, the oil minister, said he understood that Russia had announced that it was ready to work with Opec to manage the market. Iran is Opec's second largest producer. Opec agreed at an emergency meeting on Oct 24 to reduce production by 1.5 million barrels per day, or around 5 per cent, to halt a plunge in the price of crude from a peak of $147 per barrel in July. US crude traded at $64.90 on Monday. "Opec's decision is that if the existing conditions continue there is a probability that Opec's meeting will be before December," Mr Nozari said at an energy exhibition in Tehran. "Our principle discussion in the next meeting will be about supply and demand and we will have to manage this. Non-Opec producers must join Opec (to manage the market)," he said. Oil, which lost nearly 10 per cent last week, rose more than 3 per cent on Monday, fuelled by Saudi Arabia's plans to cut December supplies to Asia and hopes that global economies' plans to lift growth could avert recession. Russian Deputy prime minister Igor Sechin last week said Russia will work with Opec but would set production policies independently. Increased co-operation between Russia, one of the world's largest energy producers, and the Opec exporter group has raised consumer nations' concerns they may act together to exert control over the market. "In the news we have from Russia, they have announced readiness to co-operate with Opec," Mr Nozari said. *Reuters