Russia Says May Speed Up Oil Output Cuts
SOCHI, Russia, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Russia may cut oil production as part of an OPEC-led agreement designed to boost prices faster than it had previously expected, if its domestic companies are able, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.
Russia had said it would cut oil output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the first quarter compared with October's levels, and by a further 300,000 bpd in April as part of the global deal.
"We will be aiming to cut faster ... Depending on companies' capabilities," Novak told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in a Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers led by Russia in December, envisaged total cuts of around 1.8 million bpd during the first half of the year.
There has been a debate about whether the cuts should be prolonged in the second half of the year.
"We will be able to look into the situation in April-May," Novak said.
He added that Russia will cut oil production in February by more than the 117,000 bpd it reduced in January.
Novak confirmed earlier reports that OPEC and non-OPEC combined production cuts for January stood at 86 percent of initial targets, described by the International Energy Agency as "one of the deepest" in history.
The minister said he expected the countries party to the deal to comply fully with their pledges.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans)
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