* Rouble has risen by over 10 pct since November
* Oil price in rouble terms retreats to Nov levels
* Russia yet to decide on oil cut extension
By Oksana Kobzeva and Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW, April 13 A strong rouble is deflating
Russian oil producers' and government hopes for a revenue boost
from a global deal to curb output that was designed to lift
prices and reduce inventories.
The price of Russia's flagship Urals oil blend has risen
around 20 percent since OPEC and 11 other large producers, led
by Russia, agreed late last year to cut production in the first
half of this year.
In the same time though, the rouble has climbed by more than
10 percent versus the dollar, eroding gains for Russian oil.
The Russian government's budget revenues from oil exports also
shrink when the currency strengthens.
The price of a barrel of Urals oil blend URL-NWE-E was
just under 3,000 roubles per barrel on Thursday, the same level
it was at the end of November. It fell to as low as 2,686
roubles on March 24.
"The rouble has let the (oil) companies down - the
first-quarter results will be worse because of the strong
rouble," Alexander Kornilov of Moscow-based Aton brokerage said.
Russian mid-sized oil company Russneft, which
produces around 140,000 barrels per day (bpd), said the oil
price rise had not compensated its efforts to curtail output in
"In comparison to the fourth quarter, the price of a barrel
of oil in roubles has been almost unchanged," the company said
in emailed comments to Reuters, adding that oil prices should be
between 3,400 roubles and 3,600 roubles per barrel.
Gazprom Neft, one of Russia's top three oil
producers, said it was sticking to its plans for 2017 to extract
89.2 million tonnes of hydrocarbons (1.7 million bpd), up 3
percent year-on-year. It declined to comment on the rouble.
Rosneft and Lukoil declined to comment.
Surgutneftegaz and Tatneft did not reply to Reuters requests.
The energy ministry said in emailed comments to Reuters that
a price of $55 to $60 was "absolutely comfortable" for all oil
producers. Benchmark Brent crude futures were around $56
a barrel on Thursday.
The ministry declined to comment on whether the strong
rouble made the output cut deal less attractive for Russia.
OPEC is curbing its output by about 1.2 million bpd from
Jan. 1 for six months. Russia, the world's top oil producer, and
the other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much.
Russia's compliance with the cuts is around 83 percent.
After the pact was signed, Russian President Vladimir Putin
said the federal budget could yield 1.750 trillion roubles ($31
billion) in additional revenue due higher oil prices and that
companies could earn 750 billion roubles.
But if the rouble remains steady at current levels this
year, the extra oil and gas revenue for government coffers would
be 1 trillion roubles, according to Russian Finance Ministry
calculations seen by Reuters. The finance ministry has
estimated that the rouble is overvalued by 10 to 12 percent.
Energy minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday he had
received no complaints from oil companies so far and that he
planned to meet producers this month.
OPEC meets on May 25 and is considering whether to extend
the deal beyond June. Most members are leaning towards this if
all producers, including non-OPEC ones, also agree, OPEC sources
told Reuters last month.
Russia has not publicly said whether it supports extending
the supply cut, but is wary about the revival of U.S. shale
output due to the higher oil prices.
"If not for the OPEC deal... the situation could have been
worse off even under a weak rouble," Aton brokerage's Kornilov
($1 = 56.9300 roubles)
(Additional reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Vladimir
Soldatkin; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Susan Thomas)