Friday, June 5, 2009

Russia not to join OPEC

Russia will not join the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) any time soon, CEO of Russia's leading independent oil producer said.

''Russia will not be a OPEC member in the near future,'' Vagit Alekperov, CEO of LUKoil, Russia's leading independent oil producer said yesterday on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg.

Russia, the largest non-OPEC oil producer and the 12-nation cartel have differed recently over measures to steady prices during the current economic recession.

It has benefited from OPEC members' cuts in oil exports, but has not joined the group in reducing output.

''Prices are growing, thanks to OPEC efforts, we are happy,'' RIA Novosti quoted Alekperov as saying.

Russia has been invited to join the cartel, which accounts for 40 per cent of the world's output, but Moscow says it first wants to have a permanent envoy to the organisation and to sign a cooperation memorandum with OPEC.

In January, however, President Dmitry Medvedev refused to rule out that Russia could join the organisation.

Russian officials have attended OPEC gatherings, while producers, including LUKoil, have signaled they might be willing to cut output.

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