"Russia is ready to join in joint measures to limit output and calls on other oil exporters to do the same," stated Russian president Vladimir Putin during the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, one of the most important events on the global energy sector’s calendar. "In the current situation, we think that a freeze or even a cut in oil production is probably the only proper decision to preserve stability in the global energy market." Putin’s comments were made just weeks after the informal meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producer countries held in Algiers, during which a preliminary agreement was reached to cut global oil production by 1 million bpd. However, the agreement leaves open what quotas will have to be cut by each country, and this is the real challenge, especially as far as regards tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Yesterday, the Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih explained to reporters at the WEC that he expects the price of oil to reach as much as 60 USD per barrel again by the end of the year. The remark is significant, being the first official comment on the topic by the royal ministry since the informal meeting in Algiers.
But not all oil producer countries are aligned in their positions. Compared to Russia and Saudi Arabia, both of which are calling for output cuts, Iraq’s minister of oil Jabar al-Luaibi has stated that his country is aiming to increase its output in 2017. The minister also stated that he intends to add 350 to 450 million cubic feet per day to Iraq’s natural gas output during the same period.