Sunday , May 28 2017

Algeria says most nations back 9-month oil extension


Algeria, the African oil producer that was instrumental in crafting OPEC’s historic output deal last year, said most participating nations back a nine-month extension of the cuts.
“Most of the countries support the proposition of Russia and Saudi Arabia to extend,” Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said in Moscow after talks with his Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak. Algeria also favors that course of action, and is “optimistic for an agreement,” he said.
Signatories to a deal struck between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, late last year will meet May 25 in Vienna to discuss prolonging the supply curbs. Saudi Arabia and Russia said they favor extending the agreement through the first quarter of 2018 to reduce bloated global inventories to the five-year average.
There’s also a proposal to establish a high-level committee of experts to evaluate the market, Boutarfa said, without elaborating.
Boutarfa’s shuttle diplomacy between Russia, Iran and OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna late last year was key to securing the landmark accord to reduce supply.
Doing a deal was important for Algeria, which burned through cash during the oil-market rout to plug a widening budget deficit.
The country needs an oil price of $64.70 a barrel to balance its budget, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Benchmark Brent crude traded around $52 on Thursday.

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epa05654691 (FILE) A file photograph showing oil wells pumping oil in an oil field near Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA, 14 November 2007. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided at it's 171st meeting in Vienna, Austria on 30 November 2016 that it will cut supplies for the first time in eght years. The cut of 1.2 million barrels a day will start from January 2017. the Conference decided to implement a new OPEC-14 production target of 32.5 million barrels a day, in order to accelerate the ongoing drawdown of the stock overhang and bring the oil market rebalancing forward.  EPA/LARRY W. SMITH

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