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Russian oil production down from post-Soviet high in November

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By Natalia Chumakova and Christian Lowe

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian oil output stood at 11.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, down from the post-Soviet record high of 11.41 million bpd that it reached in October, Energy Ministry data showed on Sunday.

In tonnes, oil output reached 46.532 million versus 48.262 million in October. Reuters uses a tonne/barrel conversion ratio of 7.33.

The fall in Russian output mirrored a drop in production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which according to a Reuters survey fell in November from a two-year high.

Major oil producers inside OPEC and beyond the organisation are concerned about a possible glut of oil driving down prices, and are exploring the possibility of reining in output.

Brent crude <LCOc1> fell below $59 a barrel this week from as high as $85 in October.

Russia is becoming increasingly convinced it needs to reduce oil output in tandem with OPEC but is still bargaining with the producer group’s leader, Saudi Arabia, over the timing and volume of any reduction, two industry sources told Reuters.

OPEC members and their allies are expected to decide on steps to re-balance the oil market when they meet in Vienna on Dec. 6-7.

The Russian energy ministry’s data showed that Rosneft, the world’s top listed oil producer by output, pumped 0.1 percent more oil in November than in October, but the rate of increase slowed from a previous 0.5 percent.

The second-largest Russian oil producer, Lukoil, cut its production by 0.9 pct, the data showed, having previously increased output by 0.3 percent.

Production at Surgutneftegas was flat while Gazpromneft cut output by 4.7 percent, according to the data.

Russian oil pipeline exports in November stood at 4.297 million barrels per day, down from 4.526 million bpd in October.

Gas production was at 62.67 billion cubic metres (bcm) last month, or 2.09 bcm a day, versus 63.64 bcm in October, the ministry’s data showed.

(Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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