Russia's Deputy Prime Minister said there is no need for immediate action to balance the oil market amid reports that the OPEC group may tweak its output schedule over potentially lower demand resulting from the new COVID-19 variant.
Novak's remarks came after reports that the new variant Omicron, considered by the World Health Organization to be "a variant of concern," had been detected in several countries, prompting big economies to respond with stricter restrictions.
Novak said OPEC partners had not requested a revision of their short-term production plan, according to Russian news agency TASS.
The OPEC group is scheduled to hold a meeting on Thursday after which an announcement of the final decision on January's production volume will be made following technical discussions.
After South African scientists said last week that they had discovered the highly mutated variant, it spread from South Africa to several countries including Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Canada.
Several countries around the world have now banned flights from over half a dozen southern African nations, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini over fears of the new variant.
- Russia has enough oil reserves for next 30 years
Novak said that in the coming years, oil and gas resources would be in demand in the energy markets and he expressed his confidence that Russia would more than able to sell its reserves despite the global energy transition.
Based on current production levels, Novak said Russia's oil reserves would last for at least 30 years and its gas reserves for 50 years.
Asia will continue to be the primary destination for export growth, Novak said, noting that oil exports to China have increased six fold in the last ten years.
Gas exports are also increasing, he said, with a volume of 13.4 billion cubic meters at the end of November 2021, up from 1.2 billion cubic meters at the start of the year./aa