MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian oil production may increase again this year if a global oil deal to cut output is not extended once it expires before July 1, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.
Russian oil production has been on the rise over the past 10 years thanks to launch of new fields and introduction of new technology.
Moscow has signed up to a global deal with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curb oil production and prop up crude prices.
“This year, we expect (output) around last year’s level, maybe a bit higher,” Novak told reporters.
Russian oil output reached a record high of 556 million tonnes, or 11.16 million barrels per day (bpd), last year.
Novak said it might reach 556 million to 560 million tonnes this year if the deal is not extended.
OPEC and other producers led by Russia agreed to cut their combined oil production by 1.2 million tonnes for six months starting from January 1, an extension of cuts that were first implemented from January 2017. [nL8N21K161
The participants in the deal meet in Vienna in June to decide on any further action.
Novak repeated that it was too early to say if the deal would be extended.
Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Tom Balmforth and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by David Goodman and Edmund Blair