Russia prefers to freeze oil output, not cut it: Novak

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends the 15th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF15) in Algiers, Algeria September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Russia will consider a proposal from the OPEC oil producers’ group to cut output if such a proposal is made, but Moscow would prefer to freeze production, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.

Novak, who is attending the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, also said he planned to meet OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo on Wednesday. Russia is the world’s top oil producer, and its output is continuing to grow.

Asked whether Russia would consider cutting output to help balance global oil markets, Novak said: “We in general will look at this (proposal) but I think that for us a more favorable situation would be to maintain output levels.”

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Alexander Winning