Russia Eyes Record-High Oil Output But Favors Freeze

Russia Eyes Record-High Oil Output But Favors FreezeRussia Eyes Record-High Oil Output But Favors Freeze

Russia will produce 548 million tons (11 million barrels per day) of oil next year, a post-Soviet record, however Moscow still wants global producers to curb production amid weak prices, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

Russia, the leading oil producer, expects the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to find common ground on capping oil production. OPEC is to hold its regular meeting in Vienna on Nov.30, Reuters reported.

Before that, Novak will make several trips, including to Saudi Arabia this weekend and to Vienna next week.

He said he would take "some" proposals to a meeting with his Saudi counterpart and he believed an oil output freeze was still necessary. He declined to provide any further details on the proposals.

Asked about the need for an oil output freeze, he said: "Yes, this is our main position, it has not changed."

Novak said that he will discuss coordination on oil markets with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo next week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will join leading global oil producers in curbing production.

OPEC agreed on the sidelines of an energy conference last month to cut its collective output to around 32.5 million barrels per day. The 14-member group is expected to announce the details of the agreement in their Nov. meeting.

The organization pumped an average of 33.39 million bpd in September, up 0.22 million barrels from the previous month, OPEC said in its monthly report, citing secondary sources.

Russia's output jumped by almost 4% in September from the previous month to 11.11 million barrels per day, setting a new post-Soviet record-high, as companies ramped up drilling amid improved oil prices.

Russian officials have said that Moscow would rather freeze oil output than cut, but the level is yet to be agreed. Top Russian oil companies such as Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Lukoil are launching new fields in 2016.

According to Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, Russia has the potential to further increase oil output by up to 200 million tons a year, or 4 million barrels per day.

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