Russia's output cut will take oil output to 9.7 mln bpd in March-June - RIA quotes Novak


Updates with details

MOSCOW, March 23 (Reuters) - Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said a previously announced cut of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Russia's oil production would be from an output level of 10.2 million bpd in February, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

That would mean Russia is aiming to produce 9.7 million bpd between March and June, when the production cut will be in force, according to Novak - a much shallower reduction in output than Moscow previously indicated.

Russia announced in February the plans to cut oil output, with state media saying the 500,000-bpd reduction would be based on January production levels of 9.8-9.9 million bpd, and would have thus taken Russia's oil output below 9.4 million bpd.

Oil exports are a major source of revenue for Russia but they have come under pressure since the West hit Moscow with sanctions over its military campaign in Ukraine.

The European Union has announced measures that it says cut out 90% of Moscow's oil exports to the 27-member bloc, previously Russia's main market.

Along with the G7 leading economies and Australia, the EU has also imposed a price cap on Russian oil exports that ban their shippers and insurers from dealing with Russia's sea-borne crude exports where the price paid is above a set level, currently $60 a barrel.

Russia's Urals blend of crude oil has been trading at a steep discount to global benchmark Brent for months.

Amid the pressure, Russia has sought to increase shipments to countries such as China and India that have not imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Novak said earlier on Thursday that China accounted for 67 million tonnes - or a third - of all Russia's oil exports last year.

Novak also said Russia had not received any proposals from members of the OPEC+ group to change the terms of an existing production cut agreement.

Russia's 500,000-bpd voluntary cuts are on top of the OPEC+ deal and were announced last month following the imposition of fresh Western sanctions on Russia's oil exports.

(Reporting by Reuters Editing by Gareth Jones)

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