(Adds quotes, context)
MOSCOW, Sept 29 Russia is aiming to keep its oil
production at near-record levels despite OPEC's decision to
modestly reduce its output, Russian Energy Minister Alexander
Novak said on Thursday.
Oil producers' group OPEC agreed on Wednesday to limit its
output to 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up
weak crude prices that have hurt commodity-dependent economies
across the world.
Novak's comments are the first high-level response to the
deal from non-OPEC member Russia, a major crude producer.
The Russian minister said Moscow was ready to consider
proposals from OPEC for joint action on the oil market and would
hold consultations with the group in October and November.
"There is still a number of details which OPEC countries
must work out," Novak said in a statement, emailed by his
"Russia will carefully consider those proposals which will
be eventually drawn up. ... But our position is keeping the
volume of production at the level that has been reached. These
are the main principles that were earlier being considered."
Novak said he was not ready to say at what level Russia
might freeze its oil output if it agreed to take action
alongside OPEC, but said a production cap could be considered
for about half a year.
OPEC estimates its current output at 33.24 million bpd.
Russia produced 10.71 million bpd in August, slightly down from
10.85 million bpd in July.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Olesya Astakhova; Writing by
Alexander Winning; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Mark Potter)