UPDATE 2-Russia sends mixed signals on oil output ahead of OPEC meeting

lunes 24 de noviembre de 2014 12:32 GYT

* Russia helps markets by not raising oil output - Energy Minister Moscow may make oil output cuts of 15 mln t in 2015 - paper

* Russia risks fall into recession with oil under $60 per barrel (Adds Energy Minister quotes, background)

By Katya Golubkova and Oksana Kobzeva

MOSCOW, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Russia, in desperate need of higher oil prices, is making a last-ditch attempt to sway this week's OPEC meeting by suggesting Moscow could cut output if the group does the same.

But in a sign that it has yet to take a final decision, Russia has also said instead of cutting output it could just keep it flat.

"We think that our contribution, in principle, is that we are keeping our oil production (flat). We are not increasing," Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Rossiya-24 state TV in an interview aired in full on Monday.

Russia needs an oil price of $100 per barrel to balance its budget. With oil prices threatening to go as low as $60 if OPEC does not agree a significant output cut, Moscow could see its economy fall into recession.

Citing sources, the Kommersant newspaper said on Monday Russia might suggest cutting its oil production by around 15 million tonnes a year (300,000 barrels per day) from next year and that Moscow expected the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to limit its output by another 70 million tonnes. OPEC meets in Vienna on Nov.27

Industry players are sceptical that Russia may do anything significant to shore up prices as it did not contribute even when it promised to cut exports to help OPEC curb an oil price fall in the early 2000s.   Continuación...