Igor Sechin, Russia’s most influential oil executive and the head of Kremlin energy giant Rosneft, said his company would not cut or freeze oil production as part of a possible agreement with OPEC.
His comments underline how difficult it is for Russia to get its oil companies to freeze or cut output as part of a potential deal with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries designed to support oil prices.
President Vladimir Putin told an energy congress on Monday that Russia was ready to join the proposed OPEC cap, but did not provide any details.
“Why should we do it?” Sechin, known for his anti-OPEC position, told Reuters in Istanbul on Monday evening, when asked if Rosneft, which accounts for 40 percent of Russia’s total crude oil output, might cap its own output.
Sechin said he doubted that some OPEC countries, such as Iran, Saui Arabia and Venezuela would cut their output either, saying that an increase in oil prices above $50 per barrel would make shale oil projects in the United States profitable.
There have been several attempts in the past for Russia and OPEC to join forces to stabilize oil markets. Those efforts have never come to pass however.
Oil prices surged on Monday after Putin’s comments amid hopes that a two-year price slide could be halted.