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Rosneft Chief Sechin, Kremlin Ally, Suggests Joint Oil Output Cut

Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested a joint oil output cut with OPEC.

The head of Russia's state oil company for the first time suggested oil producers should cut output to prop up plummeting oil prices.

Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, told a conference in London on February 10 that major producers should cut production by 1 million barrels a day to reduce oversupply of about 1.5 million barrels a day.

"A coordinated supply cut by major exporters by around 1 million barrels per day would sharply reduce uncertainty and would move the market towards reasonable pricing levels," he said.

Oil prices have slumped more than 70 percent to near $30 a barrel since 2014 as supply exceeded demand.

Sechin has never before suggested working jointly with OPEC, a cartel that he has derided in the past.

Oil markets rose in recent weeks on hopes of a deal between OPEC and Russia after other Russian officials suggested joint production cuts.

After his speech, Sechin questioned whether top OPEC producers Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq are ready to cut production, however.

He said he expects Iran to nearly double its 3 million barrels a day output by 2025 with the lifting of economic sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS