March 3, 2009 / 5:18 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Russia Gazprom to reduce offtake from gas producers

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MOSCOW, March 3 (Reuters) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) will reduce its gas offtake from independent producers as demand falls, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

“We will start reducing their (independent firms’) offtake of gas, which is sent to an internal system, on the back of a reduction in usage,” Alexander Mikheyev, First Deputy Head of gas marketing, told a conference call.

Russia’s second-largest gas producer, Novatek (NVTK.MM), is expecting to significantly reduce output, he added.

Gazprom has already begun talks with independent producers on the reductions.

In the first two months of this year, the world’s largest gas producer’s output fell by 16 percent compared with the same period the year before, while Novatek raised output 11 percent. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman and Vladimir Soldatkin)

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