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Oil production cuts can go longer & deeper

OPEC and non-OPEC producers could extend and increase production cuts to prop up crude prices, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.

“If necessary, we can extend the agreement. If necessary, we can increase the amounts that need to be reduced, or on the contrary, we can move to reduce them,” Novak told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul.

OPEC and Russia are leading the effort to stabilize crude oil prices which have more than halved since 2014. However, prices have even slumped since the agreement in May to cap oil production through to March 2018 due to increasing output in the United States.

On Tuesday, prices dropped 0.5 percent. Brent crude was down 24 cents at $46.64 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate was at $44.21.

Recent research by PIRA Energy shows the US will quadruple its crude oil exports to volumes greater than those of most OPEC members within three years. By 2020, the US is projected to sell 2.25m barrels per day abroad, more than Nigeria or Kuwait.

“They’re not a member of OPEC, and they’re not about to control production in an effort to keep prices up. This is very bad news for OPEC,” said Gary Ross, PIRA’s global head of oil.

Despite this, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco said on Monday the world might be heading for an oil supply shortage following a steep drop in investment and a lack of fresh conventional discoveries.

“Financial investors are shying away from making much needed large investments in oil exploration, long-term development and the related infrastructure. Investments in smaller increments such as shale oil will just not cut it,” said CEO Amin Nasser.

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