Oslo — Norway’s oil minister reiterated on Tuesday that Western Europe’s largest oil producer was soon to conclude whether to cut its output following historical curbs agreed by the OPEC+ group.
Brent crude front-month contract fell to $18.10 a barrel on Tuesday, its lowest since December 2001, after U.S. May futures dropped to minus $40 a barrel on Monday due to worries about the novel coronavirus pandemic’s impact on fuel demand.
“We have not yet concluded. It will happen soon,” Oil and Energy Minister Tina Bru told journalists via video link.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, have announced sweeping cuts in production, amounting to almost 10% of global supplies.
But with economies virtually at a standstill due to coronavirus lockdowns, demand has dropped as much as 30%.
Bru was speaking after holding a video conference call jointly with Prime Minister Erna Solberg with representatives of the Norwegian oil industry.
Solberg said the government was looking at possible measures to help the oil sector, Norway’s largest industry, reeling from the twin shocks of low crude prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will come back to it before the revised budget,” she said, which is due in May. She did not offer specifics of what measures could be under consideration.
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