July 25, 2018 / 2:19 PM / 7 months ago

Russia raises oil output forecast for 2018, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s oil production this year will increase to 551 million tonnes (11.02 million barrels per day), a new 30-year high and up by around 3.5 million tonnes from previous expectations, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

He said Russia would further raise production to 555 million tonnes in 2019 after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers led by Russia agreed last month to ease production curbs.

Novak said the projections are preliminary.

“A lot will depend on the market dynamics and the need to adjust our actions,” he was quoted as saying by his ministry.

Last year Russia’s oil production reached a new 30-year average annual high of 10.98 million bpd despite the country’s participation in an OPEC-led global supply reduction pact.

The deal on oil production cuts helped raise oil prices to almost $80 per barrel in May.

Front-month futures of Brent are currently trading at $74.1 per barrel, far above the $60 which Russian President Vladimir Putin has called suitable for Russia.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Dale Hudson and Jason Neely

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