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OPEC+ group will consider 'many factors' in oil cuts: Novak

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — While several key ministers have said they want to extend OPEC/non-OPEC oil production cuts beyond their June expiry, Russian counterpart Alexander Novak said Sunday the coalition should examine "many factors" before making any decisions.

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The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee will "discuss the situation of the market and develop proposals for our ministerial meeting in June," Novak told reporters on arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the committee will convene later Sunday.

The 24-country OPEC/non-OPEC coalition led by Russia and Saudi Arabia commits participants to 1.2 million b/d in output reductions through the first half of 2019.

Several key OPEC ministers, including from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, have said they favor extending the cuts, to address stubbornly high oil inventories, even with the US crackdown on sanctions on Iran and the summer peak demand season expected to tighten the market.

Non-OPEC Russia has been less eager to lock in further cuts, though President Vladimir Putin has said he sees political benefits to continuing engagement with OPEC.

Asked whether heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were affecting the market, Novak said: "The market will look how the situation develops, which factors affect the balance of supply and demand and other factors."

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of being behind last week's attacks on a key Saudi pipeline, following ship sabotage on four vessels off the eastern coast of the UAE. Iran denied it was involved, and has said Saudi Arabia was undermining OPEC unity by working with the US to manage global oil supply and take market share away from other members.

The Trump administration has pressured Saudi Arabia to offset any supply losses from Iran due to US sanctions.

The JMMC meeting is scheduled to start at 4 pm local time (1300 GMT), with a press briefing set for 9 pm (1800 GMT).

--Dania Saadi, dania.el.saadi@spglobal.com

--Herman Wang, herman.wang@spglobal.com

--Rosemary Griffin, rosemary.griffin@spglobal.com

--Edited by Claudia Carpenter, claudia.carpenter@spglobal.com