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OPEC, Kremlin hold talks on markets

  |   Oct. 23, 2008 at 2:53 PM
MOSCOW, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Kremlin and OPEC officials met in Moscow to hold talks on the status of the world oil market as Russia moves ahead with an energy troika.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with the secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Abdalla Salem el-Badri, ahead of an OPEC meeting to discuss production cuts.

"Interaction with OPEC is one of the key areas for our energy agencies and for the building of our energy policy in general," Medvedev said.

The meeting follows an agreement between Russia, Qatar and Iran to discuss the possibility of forming a natural gas cartel between the three countries, which together hold about 60 percent of world gas reserves.

Russia has no plans to cut its oil production, though Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said his country may curb export duties and consider holding reserves in several oil fields as a means of influencing oil prices on the world market, The Moscow Times reported Thursday.

Badri said declines in oil prices on the world market would "without any doubt" have a negative impact on planned infrastructure projects.

OPEC will meet Friday to discuss production as several members have called for an 8.7 percent cut, or 2.5 million barrels, in total production.

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