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Russia evaluating new cuts to OPEC+ oil supply amid coronavirus hit

Russian authorities have signaled they might join a collective effort by a grouping of oil exporting countries to implement fresh cuts to the global supply amid fears that a surge of coronavirus cases around the world may further depress the prices.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that Moscow was evaluating a proposal by The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, known as OPEC+, to add another 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the cuts already accepted in the grouping.

“We are looking at the recommendation made by the (joint) technical committee,” Novak said ahead of an OPEC+ meeting in Vienna on March 5-6 to discuss more reduction to supply that could support markets hit by the spread of coronavirus.

Novak, however, rejected reports that Russia had received a proposal for 1 million bpd of new cuts by OPEC+.

OPEC+ members have already agreed to reduce production by 1.7 million bpd and keep it until the end of March. the fresh cuts has been proposed by Saudi Arabia and other members amid fears that demand for oil may be further affected by surging infections of coronavirus in various parts of the world.

Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin, have said that the country is content with current prices of oil hovering around $50 per barrel. However they have said that there is still a need for cooperation with foreign partners to keep prices stable.

Russia, not an OPEC member but one of the main three oil producers in the world, pumped 11.29 million bpd of oil in February, a tally which includes gas condensate.

The very light form of oil can be excluded from the quota of 10.33 million bpd set by OPEC+ for Moscow under the current cuts deal.