June 4, 2017 / 9:09 PM / 7 months ago

Rosneft ready to expand crude output if OPEC agreement ends abruptly -FT

June 4 (Reuters) - Russian oil company Rosneft served notice that it would step up production if the agreement among major crude producers to curb output comes to a sudden end, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The company was closely monitoring output from U.S. shale producers, Rosneft’s chief executive, Igor Sechin, told the FT.

“Well, if the question is how OPEC is going to exit from these arrangements abruptly, we will also be prepared. If something goes wrong, we will not let them occupy our markets. We’ll defend ourselves.” Sechin told the newspaper.

Sechin viewed the agreement and its impact on the oil market as “positive”, the FT said.

“This is what we do. We manage risks. We have to consider every trend, any trend that may affect our performance. We will be ready,”, he was quoted as saying.

Last week, Sechin said OPEC oil producers could be wasting their efforts by cutting output as rising U.S. production threatens to deliver a wave of new supply and could add up to 1.5 million barrels a day to world oil output next year.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which accounts for around a third of global oil output, and 11 other producers led by Russia had agreed to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day to prop up weak prices.

Sechin had also questioned the efficiency of the production cuts that were extended last week until March 2018, saying that oil producers were losing market share to U.S. firms that are not part of the deal.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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