(Adds new quote as Molodtsov backtracked from earlier comment)
MOSCOW, Sept 22 Russia can "in theory" reduce
its oil output by 5 percent, Russian Deputy Energy Minister
Kirill Molodtsov said on Thursday, referring to a possible
output freeze by major crude producers in a bid to stabilise
global oil prices.
The possible regulation of oil production levels had already
been agreed with Russian oil companies, he told reporters on the
sidelines of an energy conference in Moscow.
But he later told reporters while potential regulation had
been discussed with Russian firms this year no formal agreement
had been reached.
"I said that it had been discussed with companies," he told
OPEC and non-OPEC producers are expected to try to revive a
production freeze deal when they meet in Algeria on Sept. 26-28
after a similar initiative collapsed in Doha in April because
Iran refused to restrict its supplies.
Molodtsov declined to comment on any possible Russian
proposals for the Algeria meeting.
Russia's oil output was 10.71 million barrels per day (bpd)
in August. Its daily oil production touched a record high of
11.75 million barrels on Tuesday.
Daily oil production of 11.1 million barrels is "a fully
realistic level" for Russia, Molodtsov said.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing
by Dmitry Solovyov and Polina Devitt; Editing by Christian Lowe
and Dmitry Solovyov)