Russia Ready to Join OPEC Output Freeze

Russia Ready to Join OPEC Output FreezeRussia Ready to Join OPEC Output Freeze

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he saw no obstacles to a global agreement on an oil output freeze, adding that Moscow is ready to join a proposed cap on oil output by OPEC members

"The only problem as of today is (getting) agreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran. (Their) positions have got significantly closer," Putin said, Reuters reported.

Speaking at an energy congress in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Putin said that low oil prices have lead to underinvestment into the global energy sector which will turn into a deficit at some point and trigger new "unpredictable jumps" in prices.

Energy ministers from Qatar, the UAE, Algeria, Venezuela and Russia held informal closed-door talks with the secretary-general of OPEC in Istanbul on Wednesday to coordinate efforts to rebalance the oil market.

"That's why in the current situation we think that (an oil output) freeze or even an oil production cut is likely to be the only right decision to maintain the stability of the global energy sector," Putin said.

"Russia is ready to join the joint measures to cap production and is calling for other oil exporters to join," Putin said.

He also hoped that OPEC members would confirm the decision to adopt quotas for output when the organization meets in November. Russian oil output jumped by almost 4% in September from the previous month to 11.11 million barrels per day, a new post-Soviet record-high, as companies ramped up drilling amid improved oil prices.

Putin did not say at what level Russia would be ready to cap its production. In an unprecedented shift of policy, OPEC agreed last month on the outlines of a deal to trim its collective output to around 32.5 barrels per day from more than 33 million bpd, with Saudi Arabia's energy minister also saying that Iran, Libya and Nigeria should be allowed to "produce at the maximum levels that makes sense".

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak also said that Moscow would likely discuss details of an oil output freeze with OPEC nations in Vienna on Oct. 29.

Novak added that he expected the United States to be invited to take part in the meeting.

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