Russia says it's doing more than it needs to for oil market balance
Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Russia is doing more than it needs to in order to move the level of oil on the market closer to the five-year average, state media reported Wednesday.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in January started implementing an agreement to curb production in an effort to draw the global level of crude oil inventories closer to the five-year average. Russia is the largest contributor to the agreement among non-OPEC members.
"Russia in August fulfilled the agreement by 105 percent, reducing production by 316,000 barrels with a quota of 300,000 barrels per day," Russian news agency TASS reported.
Total production from OPEC was down last month for the first time since March. Production from Saudi Arabia, the largest OPEC producer, remained about the average for the second quarter. Russian oil production is holding steady, but still represents a slight increase from the average last year.
Tass reported the average level of compliance among non-OPEC members was around 68 percent.
OPEC economists said in their monthly market report for September that total commercial oil stocks for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was 195 million barrels above the five-year average and 123 million barrels above the seasonal norm. OPEC, however, raised its expectations for global crude oil demand, citing growth next year in the European and Chinese economies.
The OPEC-led effort is aimed at draining the oversupply and was credited with putting a floor underneath the price for Brent crude oil at $50 per barrel. With market strains compounded by the two hurricanes that hit the southern United States, Brent crude oil is approaching a record high for the year, moving toward $55 per barrel early Wednesday.
The value of the U.S. currency has moved lower for much of the year. The price for Brent crude oil, meanwhile, is about 10 percent higher than on this date in 2016.
The Russian economy, meanwhile, contracted last month because of pressure in some of the non-oil sectors. The Economic Development Ministry reported growth in gross domestic product in July was 1.5 percent, which marks a slight slowdown, but still an improvement from the negative GDP from last year.
Russia's Central Bank has said there were some short-term inflationary risks because of lingering uncertainty in the commodity market, but those risks were subdued by commitments to balancing supply-side strains through an OPEC-led production agreement.