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Ahead of promised cut, Russia’s oil output hits record high

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at an oil field owned by Russian state-owned oil producer Bashneft near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at an oil field owned by Russian state-owned oil producer Bashneft near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Russia plans to use its post-Soviet era record high November oil production as its baseline when it cuts output under this week’s deal with OPEC, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said on Friday.

Russia has promised to gradually cut output by up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017 as part of a deal with other producers aimed at supporting oil prices.

Its daily oil production rose to an average of 11.21 million bpd in November, a new post-Soviet era high, energy ministry data showed on Friday.

That was 500,000 bpd higher than in August, the month before Russia and OPEC reached a preliminary agreement in Algiers to cut production.

Under this week’s follow-up agreement, the first between OPEC and Russia since 2001, specific cuts for individual states were set, with almost all OPEC members agreeing to cut from October levels.

But Russia will use its November-December output levels, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Thursday.

November’s production rose only slightly from October, by just 10,000 bpd, ministry data showed.

“The peak of daily production for November was 11.231 million barrels,” Deputy Energy Minister Molodtsov told a conference in Moscow.

“All our agreements will clearly be formed around this figure, he said.

Lukoil and Surgutneftegas raised output in November while production slipped at fields operated by Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and their joint venture Slavneft, preliminary data showed.

Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Lukoil have all launched new fields this year and increased drilling, despite low oil prices.

Energy Minister Novak said on Thursday that all Russian companies would contribute to Russia’s planned output cut.

Novak also said Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Oman, Bahrain and other non-OPEC producers could join the deal and that he expected them to jointly match Russia’s cut of 300,000 bpd.

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