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Russia’s Oil Production Dips As Possible Production Cuts Near

Russia’s oil output dipped in November, preliminary data from Russia’s federal state budgetary organization CDU TEK over the weekend, days before the OPEC summit scheduled for December 6 that will serve as a forum for discuss another oil production cut.

The November data showed Russia’s oil production had fallen to 11.369 million barrels per day, including condensates, an almost half a percentage decline from the record highs Russia kicked out in October of 11.41 million bpd. Production had previously been steadily increasing for months as Saudi Arabia and Russia attempted to lift production to make up for Iranian losses that most expected from the U.S. Sanctions.

The cuts come after Russia’s energy ministry was reported as discussing potential oil production cuts with local producers to come up with a position on the oil production cuts before the December meeting scheduled for this weekend.

However, the slip in production for November is seen by analysts, according to Bloomberg, not as a deliberate attempt to curb production to balance the market, but more as the natural consequence of issues with specific oilfields, and possibly from seasonality.

The news of Russia’s declining production served as another boost for oil prices that have seen a rocky few weeks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that it was “obvious” that Russia should cooperate with OPEC, stopping just shy of saying that that would definitely mean a production cut.

Oil prices continued to rise on Monday afternoon with Russia’s falling production, a truce between China and the United States over trade, Alberta’s pronouncement that it will curb production, and Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC, which is expected to go into effect in January 1.

At 3:19pm EST, both the WTI and Brent Crude benchmarks were trading up over 4%,

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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