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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Tells OPEC Chief It Will Cut Crude Exports

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Russia will fulfill its promise to OPEC to cut crude oil exports in the second quarter, First Deputy Energy Minister Ivan Matlashov was quoted as assuring visiting OPEC Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez on Friday.

"Matlashov stressed that Russia would reduce export volumes in the second quarter to increase supplies to the domestic market, as the Russian delegation said at the OPEC conference in March this year," an Energy Ministry statement on the meeting said.

The statement gave no figures.

Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Alexei Miller said at OPEC's last meeting in Vienna in March, when the cartel slashed output by 1 million barrels a day from April 1 to bolster prices, that Russia would cut exports. But he did not give details.

Matlashov said oil exports in April had fallen compared with March without giving figures.

Traders have estimated that Russia will export around 2.3 million barrels per day of oil in the second quarter, 3 million tons below first-quarter levels. Matlashov said high oil prices had been good for Russia's economy, according to the statement. He said the optimum oil price range for Russia was $25 to $27 a barrel.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov held talks with Rodriguez on Saturday and both men were said to be happy with the current stable state of world oil markets.

Russian news agencies quoted the government press office as saying Kasyanov and Rodriguez had discussed world markets.

"During the meeting satisfaction was expressed over the current stable level of world prices for oil," the press office said in a statement.