‘Russia oil companies should decide to cut production, not state’

MOSCOW: A Russian deputy prime minister said Friday that oil companies — and not the state — should decide whether to cut production in the face of low oil prices due in part to a supply glut.

“If prices remain at non-profitable levels for an extended period, investments will have to be corrected and this will lead to lower production, but this will not be in the interest of the state,” Russian news agencies quoted deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying.

“We proceed from the fact that the oil industry is private to a large extent … and is not controled by the state,” he said. “And this will continue.”

Dvorkovich said that Russian companies will study the prospect of cutting production “in accordance to their interests.”

Low oil prices have weighed heavily on Russia’s recession-hit economy, which shrank by 3.7 percent in 2015 and is set to continue suffering this year.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday that Moscow was ready to take part in an OPEC meeting aimed at establishing possible “coordination” in the face of low oil prices.

APP/AFP

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