Putin to Unify Oil Firms Before OPEC Meeting

Putin to Unify Oil Firms Before OPEC MeetingPutin to Unify Oil Firms Before OPEC Meeting

Russian President Vladimir Putin will organize a gathering of domestic oil producers a week before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Nov. 30 to discuss possible output curbs, industry sources said on Friday.

According to Reuters, the agenda for the Nov. 23 meeting of the energy industries commission is not clear yet. A Kremlin spokesman did not respond to a request for comment and the Energy Ministry declined to discuss the matter, Reuters reported.

Earlier on Friday, the Interfax news agency cited energy ministry documents prepared for the commission as saying that the market impact of any deal to cap Russia's oil production at current rates could be short-lived due to a quick recovery in shale oil production in the United States.

Igor Sechin, the head of Rosneft and an ally of Putin, is secretary of the commission.

Russia is working with OPEC to try to hammer out a deal aimed at curbing oil production and oversupply, problems which have dogged global oil markets for the past two years.

A source close to one of the Russian companies said the meeting had been postponed from Nov. 9 after discussions between Sechin and Putin's aide Andrei Belousov, who is also the chairman of Rosneft.

Sechin is known for his anti-OPEC stance and has repeatedly said that the group has lost its global influence due to a boom in shale oil production in the US.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have expressed a willingness to reduce their peak oil output by 4%, energy ministers from the countries told their Russian counterpart this week.

Five leading Russian oil companies, responsible for three quarters of the output of the world's largest producer, all say they will be boosting output next year after reaching record output levels in recent months.

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