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Page added on October 29, 2008

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LUKOIL says Russia could join OPEC, trim output

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A vice-president of Russian private oil major LUKOIL said on Wednesday that Russia could join OPEC and that it could take part in production cuts to help prop up global prices.

The comment by Leonid Fedun at a conference in Moscow came as a surprise after Russian officials and even Fedun’s boss, LUKOIL Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov, said earlier this month Russia should not join OPEC as it would damage the country’s oil industry.

“(Joining OPEC) will be only good for Russia,” he said.

“We are seeing that Russia and OPEC are beginning to cooperate. I believe the future of the Russian industry and price stability hinges on close cooperation with OPEC. To the extent of Russia joining OPEC,” he said.

He said Russia could afford to cut production and exports by 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) — or around 3 or 4 percent of current Russian production — to help OPEC.

He added that executives from private Russian oil companies could attend OPEC’s next December meeting in Algeria.


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