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Energy

Russian oil bosses debate extending output curbs into 2021: sources

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Top managers of Russian oil companies and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Monday discussed a possible extension of oil output restrictions into the first quarter of 2021, two industry sources said.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia imposed a record oil output cut in April to support prices as the COVID-19 pandemic shrank demand.

They are considering further steps as the global number of coronavirus cases is rising sharply.

Russian oil companies and Novak discussed three options on Monday, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

One of the options was to extend the current output curbs into the first quarter of 2021, the source said. The two other options were to increase oil output in January, as planned, or to cut output even further.

Another industry source said a three-month extension of the agreement by OPEC+, as the grouping of OPEC and allied producers is named, was possible because of concern about the impact of the second wave of the pandemic.

Russian oil and gas condensate output rose to 9.98 million barrels per day (bpd) in October from 9.93 million bpd a month earlier, indicating Russia’s output was close to its quota or slightly above it.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin, who declined to comment on future OPEC+ decisions, said on Monday the global oil market would depend on how countries act to the ongoing pandemic.

Russia has said it will not impose a new lockdown despite reporting a record rise in infections, while Europe has turned to wide-scale restrictions.

The sources said the final oil output decision will be made by President Vladimir Putin, who last month did not rule out extending deep oil cuts for longer if market conditions warranted.

OPEC ministers will hold output talks beginning on Nov. 30.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova and Vladimir Soldatkin; additional reporting by Katya Golubkova; writing by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Barbara Lewis

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