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Some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are considering options to exclude Russia from an oil-production deal that was agreed upon last year, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
The move comes as Western and European nations look to reduce Russia’s oil production capacity in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, the report said, citing OPEC delegates.
The exclusion of Russia will allow Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other OPEC members to significantly increase output to meet the production targets.
These countries have been urged by the US and European nations to boost production since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to reduce oil prices, which have surged to more than $100 a barrel.
Last year, Russia agreed with OPEC and nine non-OPEC nations to produce more crude each month.
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As per the deal, the group was set to increase production output by 432,000bpd each month until the end of September 2022.
According to OPEC delegates, some OPEC members in the Persian Gulf are looking to increase output over the next few months.
OPEC+ members, which includes OPEC’s 13 members and ten non-OPEC producers led by Russia, are expected to approve a planned production increase at a meeting scheduled on 2 June 2022 to reduce the surging global crude oil prices.
Despite this, concerns are being raised by some OPEC members over exempting Russia as it could undermine the group’s unity.
One OPEC delegate said without Russia, ‘what is the concept of OPEC+’.
The Persian Gulf OPEC official said: “The danger of allowing Russia to be quota-free is that when we, in the future, are forced to cut, Russia will resist.”