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Russia is ready to talk to Saudi Arabia and other Opec member countries on the possibility of cutting oil output in a bid to boost oil price. The remarks by Russia's head of oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, Nikolai Tokarev is the first hint of a possible cooperation between the world's top non-Opec oil producer and the cartel.
The move is aimed at reversing the record glut as well as stem falling oil prices. Tokarev said that a meeting of oil executives and government officials in Moscow on Tuesday 26 January had decided that talks with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) were needed to bolster the price of oil.
"At the meeting there was discussion in particular about the oil price and what steps we should take collectively to change the situation for the better, including negotiations within the framework of Opec as a whole, and bilaterally," RIA news agency quoted Tokarev as saying. "The main initiative is being shown by, of course, our Saudi partners. They are the main negotiators. That means that they are the ones we need to discuss this with first of all," he said.
Tokarev said output cuts would be on the agenda for talks with Opec member countries. "Yes, that is one of the levers or mechanisms that would allow us to in some way balance the oil price," he said.
An energy ministry representative confirmed that possible coordination with Opec member should been discussed at the meeting on Tuesday, Reuters said. The meeting was hosted by the Energy Ministry.
Just how soon any 'cooperation' with Opec members will pave the way for higher oil prices will have to be seen. But this is unlikely to happen any time soon. Even Russian oil producers have admitted to reducing output was technically very difficult and could lead to Russia losing its market share to its competitors.