MOSCOW, March 17. / TASS /. Russia reduced oil production by 160,000 barrels per day as of mid-March, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.
"In mid-March it is 160,000 barrels per day," he said.
He also recalled that by the end of April Russia plans to cut oil production reduction 300,000 barrels per day and maintain this level until the end of the first half of the year.
Russian Energy Ministry considers premature to talk about extension of the oil production limiting agreement until the end of April - mid-May.
"Many market participants are commenting on this matter now. In my opinion, it is premature to talk about that in the middle of March. Talks and decision-making should take place at the end of April - mid-May," Novak said.
Currently, the Energy Ministry expects that the production of oil and gas condensate in Russia in 2017 will increase in comparison with 2016 by 0.1% - up to 548 million tonnes.
Earlier, the ministry forecasted the volume of production at 548-551 million tonnes for 2017.
Russia expects a more significant growth in production in 2018 - up to 553 million tonnes.
In 2019, this level of extraction will be maintained, according to the document.
By the end of 2016, Russia produced 547.5 million tonnes of oil, accounting for 12.4% in global production and outranked Saudi Arabia, the United States, Iraq and China in terms of volumes.
Russia is involved in oil production agreement with OPEC. Under that agreement Russia pledged to reduce production from January 1 2017 by 300,000 barrels by October 2017, or by 2.7%.
On November 30, 2016, at a meeting in Vienna OPEC member states agreed to reduce their production by 1.2 million barrels per day from the level of October 2016 to 32.5 million barrels.
On December 11, 2016, non-OPEC oil producers agreed to cut their production by 558,000 barrels per day, including Russia - by 300,000 barrels. The agreement was concluded for the first half of 2017.
The next meeting of OPEC will be held on May 25, 2017. It is expected that they will discuss the extension of the agreements for another six months.