Russia says global deal on oil output cap is close

MOSCOW -- Russia says it is close to an international deal with OPEC countries to cap oil production, and that a final decision will be made at a meeting this month.

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Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar floated an output cap last month with the aim of boosting oil prices, but it was conditional on other producers joining in. Iran has so far resisted, while Russia has agreed.

Addressing top state and private sector oil executives, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Energy Minister Alexander Novak "is agreeing and practically has agreed with his partners in the global market" to cap oil output, in comments published on the Kremlin website.

"It's about us not ramping up oil production this year," he said.

Putin told the oil executives that "as the minister has reported, you are all in agreement with this proposal."

The deal would cap Russian production at the level of January 2016, Putin said.

Novak was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying that the deal mentioned by Putin was agreed to by countries which together accounted for 73 per cent of global production. It was not immediately clear which countries he meant.

He said a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers like Russia this month will produce "a final decision."

The Russian economy is in recession after being hit hard by the low price of oil, which has also hammered government revenue.



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