* U.S. shale firms boost output as oil prices recover
* Costly shale oil seen regulating global crude price
* Rosneft sees "significant risk" OPEC won't extend cuts
(Adds quotes, context)
By Olesya Astakhova
MOSCOW, March 13 A recovery in U.S. oil output
may deter OPEC and non-OPEC producers from extending production
cuts beyond June and might lead to a new price war, Russia's top
oil major said on Monday.
U.S. shale oil production had been in retreat as oil prices
tumbled from above $100 a barrel in 2014 to below $30 in 2015,
making costly fracking processes less profitable.
A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries with Russia and other producers to rein in output by
1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from Jan. 1
lifted prices but also encouraged U.S. firms to boost supplies.
"It became evident that U.S. shale oil output has become and
will remain a new global oil price regulator for the foreseeable
future," Rosneft said in a written response to Reuters.
"There are significant risks the (OPEC-led) deal won't be
extended partially because of the main participants, but also
because of the output dynamics in the United States, which will
not want to join any deals in the foreseeable future."
Russia agreed to join OPEC supply curbs late last year
despite initial opposition from Rosneft's boss Igor Sechin, one
of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies.
"We think that in the long-term global oil demand dynamics
and reduced investment during the period of ultra low prices
will balance the market, but that the risk of a price war
resuming remains," Rosneft wrote.
Russia has yet to deliver on the pledged cuts, while Saudi
Arabia has cut its production far below the levels it had
pledged, compensating for waker compliance by other OPEC states.
Rosneft said it came as a surprise to many observers that
OPEC's compliance with cuts was more than 90 percent, and said
the success was because the Saudi position on reducing
production had "changed a great deal" from the past.
The kingdom, the world's biggest oil exporter, had long
refused to cut output under veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi.
He was replaced last year by Khalid al-Falih.
"It was Saudi Arabia which initiated the pricing war in the
first place with the aim of radically increasing its market
share by squeezing out producers of 'costly' oil," Rosneft said,
in a reference to shale producers.
"This goal became impossible to reach because of the
efficiency and viability of the Russian oil industry," it added.
Naimi had forecast a collapse in output from Russia's mature
fields. Instead, production has risen in the past two years to
an all-time high of 11.2 million bpd, partly because a
devaluation in the rouble reduced production costs.
Rosneft said the only guaranteed route to balance the market
was for all producers to limit supplies, but acknowledged this
would not happen because U.S. shale producers would not join any
such pact. U.S. law bars them from such action.
(Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Andrew Osborn and