Russian oil production shows first sign of freeze deal

Jessica Morris
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Putin said Russian oil companies had agreed not to ramp up production (Source: Getty)

Russian oil production was flat in February, in the first sign of the country's participation in a historic production freeze deal among some of the world's biggest producers.

Energy Ministry data showed oil output held at the same rate in January of 10.88m barrels per day. In tonnes, it hit 43.064m compared to 46.006m in January, which was two days longer.

Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the country's oil companies had agreed not to ramp up production. The energy ministry data also showed crude output by Rosneft was unchanged last month, while output at Lukoil edged down by 0.5 percent on a monthly basis.

Russia entered into a preliminary production cut deal with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela in Doha last month to prop up oil prices which have fallen around 70 per cent since June 2014. Speculation over whether this will lead to a co-ordinated cut have sent oil prices zigzagging recently.

Nevertheless, analysts have voiced scepticism over the countries' ability to alleviate the global supply glut. Iran has vowed to continue pumping more oil, while US shale production is expected to tail off more gradually than previously expected.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, is currently down 0.4 per cent at $36.66 per barrel. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, shed 1.4 per cent to $33.92.

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