Oil and Gas

Russia's energy minister says compliance for OPEC production cut is 'almost 100 percent'

Key Points
  • OPEC is seeing broad compliance with its production cut, says Russia's energy minister
  • $50 to $60 per barrel is an "optimum" price range, he said
OPEC compliance at 'almost 100 percent': Russia energy minister
Optimum price range for oil is $50 to $60: Russia energy minister
Is Russia trying to kill the US shale industry?

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has basically fully implemented an oil production cut, Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak told CNBC.

"We believe that perhaps for the first time in its history OPEC has succeeded in reaching a very high level of implementing an agreement, at a level of almost 100 percent. And that is an impressive figure, we are very pleased with this figure," Novak told CNBC.

Russia and de-facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia made waves last year when they agreed (along with the rest of OPEC, albeit with some members more reluctant than others) to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day in a bid to support and stabilize oil prices, which have declined since mid-2014 on the back of a glut in supply. In June 2017, the oil producers agreed to extend those cuts until March 2018.

Novak said the deal is working. Although there is still a surplus, participants in the oil production cuts are looking to further reduce the surplus, he said.

And although OPEC as a whole is complying with the deal fully, it would be fairer for all parties to comply to their agreed cut levels, said Novak. Now, he explained, some countries are cutting more production than they agreed to in order to make up for the shortfall created by others who are not meeting their targets.

Non-OPEC countries, such as Russia, have cut more than the group in August, said Novak.

As for the overall price of oil, Novak said, $50 to $60 per barrel is an "optimum" range.

"If the price will be in this range, we believe that would be a good thing," he said.

OPEC said at a meeting in Vienna last month that the global market was well on its way toward rebalancing, sending prices up briefly. Oil has since come off as it continues to be weighed down by U.S. shale oil producers coming back online and demand still failing to keep up with supply.

Oil futures were flat on Thursday morning in Asia with the benchmark U.S. West Texas Intermediate contract moving around $49.85 a barrel while Brent crude was around $55.70 a barrel.

— CNBC's Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article.