Russian oil production could be cut by 300,000 barrels a day to support oil prices

Reports on Monday indicate that Russia could reduce its oil production by 300,000 barrels a day to help support the price of oil.

The slump in oil prices costs the Russian economy around $100bn a year. Western sanctions are also having a negative impact of around $40bn, according to the Russian Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov.

Mr. Siluanov was at an an international financial and economic forum in Moscow where he talked about the pressing economic issues the country faces.

Later this week OPEC members will meet and talk about the falling prices of oil.

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could suffer “catastrophic consequences” from sanctions, the slump in oil prices and the weakening rouble. He claimed that this would have a knock-on effect for other countries.

The EU and the US imposed sanctions on Russia following the annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine and wide-spread belief that Russia has been involved in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian president told TASS, the official news agency, on Sunday:

“The modern world is interdependent. It’s far from guaranteed that sanctions, the steep fall in oil prices and the loss of value of the national currency will lead to negative results or catastrophic consequences only for us,”

The OPEC meeting in Vienna may result in the cartel reducing oil production to prevent oil from falling to lower prices.

On Monday Brent crude traded at $80.25 a barrel, down 11 cents, and US crude traded at $76.41, down 10 cents.

Despite key OPEC members, including Iran, Libya, and Venezuela, urging other members to reduce oil production, Kuwait has stated that a cut is not likely to happen.

In addition, OPEC’s largest producer and exporter, Saudi Arabia, has not sent a clear message as to what its stance is on cutting production.

Lower demand in Europe and Asia, as well as a US shale boom, has resulted in excess supplies of oil and a steady drop in its price.

On November 14 Brent Crude fell to a four-year low of $76.76 a barrel.

Many analysts say that the credibility of OPEC would be at question if there is no cut.

Since the beginning of the year the Russian double has fallen by around 30% against the US dollar. It saw a slight recovery on Monday, gaining over 2% against the dollar and the euro, mainly because of a marginal recovery in oil prices.

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