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Russia Expects Major Producers To Agree To Output Cuts Sought By OPEC

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak (right) talks with Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih at an OPEC meeting.

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said he expects major oil producers on December 10 will agree to output cuts sought by the OPEC oil cartel.

Novak said on December 9 that he was "optimistic" about getting commitments to OPEC"s proposed cut of 600,000 barrels a day at a Vienna meeting between OPEC and major producers outside the cartel.

"I think that we will agree and we must agree," he said.

Russia has already pledged to provide half the non-OPEC cuts, which would come on top of 1.2 million barrels a day of reduced production by OPEC members.

Nine countries are expected to join OPEC at the meeting: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Oman, Mexico, Russia, Sudan, South Sudan, Bahrain, and Malaysia. Bolivia may also attend, OPEC officials said.

It was not clear whether all those countries would contribute to the 600,000-barrel target, however.

Kazakhstan relaunched its giant Kashagan oil field last month and is expected to produce 200,000 barrels more per day in 2017. It may offer to freeze Kashagan output at last month's level, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbaev said.

Russia's output reached a post-Soviet high of 11.21 million barrels in November, making it the world's top producer. Novak says Russia's 300,000-barrel cut will come from that level.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and TASS