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Russia set to raise output in 2018 if no pact extension

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that should the deal between OPEC and its non-OPEC partners not be extended, it expects to increase oil production by 3.5 to 4 million tonnes – roughly equivalent to 25-30 million barrels. Russia is currently forecast to produce 547 million tonnes (around 4 billion barrels).

Novak told reporters that his ministry expects some modest growth next year, but he also pointed out that any growth will largely depend on any decisions about extending the OPEC-led production cuts, in which Russia currently participates.

He also stated:

“We will now make our forecasts within a range of a possible increase from today’s level, if there is no deal.”

This appears to indicate that his ministry was working based on the prospect of no extension.

When questioned whether Russia will stick to the current 2018 forecast of 547 million tonnes should the OPEC deal be extended, Novak replied it would.

In the meantime, Russia continues to explore its Arctic shelf for oil reserves, which are currently estimated to hold around 250 billion barrels of oil equivalent. ExxonMobil, the oil giant behind Mobil UK stockists, was engaged in a joint venture with Rosneft to develop resources in the Kara Sea, but subsequent US sanctions forbade the export of goods, services, and technologies for offshore Arctic oil projects, among others. Despite these difficulties, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said in an interview with Forbes in February that the company was “there for the long term.”

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