MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is calling on oil producers around the world to refrain from increasing output, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, according to Russian news agencies, just days before he is due to meet officials from OPEC.
The Russian economy has been hit hard by lower oil prices, which have almost halved from a peak in June last year of $115 per barrel. Oil and gas sales account for around half or Russia’s state budget revenues.
“We call for all countries to keep their output unchanged,” Novak was quoted as saying by TASS news agency. Several other local media outlets also reported his call to global oil producers.
The Russian minister is due to hold talks with some officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next month in Vienna, just before the group’s meeting on Jun.5.
Russia is not a member of OPEC, and Novak said Moscow did not plan to seek an agreement with the group on specific production levels.
OPEC is not expected to cut oil production to shore up prices.
The group has increased production by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) over the past year, with Saudi output alone jumping by 450,000 bpd year-on-year to 10.15 million in April.
Russia has pushed its own production up by 200,000 bpd over the past year, hitting an all-time high of more than 10.7 million bpd in April.
Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Pravin Char