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Russia Agrees to Small Reduction in Oil Production - 2001-11-13

Russian oil producers have agreed to a small cut in output as part of efforts to stop a slide in world oil prices. Member countries in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had wanted to see even greater cuts by Russia.

A group of Russia's leading oil companies and the government agreed to reduce their oil output by 30,000 barrels a day.

But many analysts said the cuts would be mostly symbolic, considering that Russia produces seven million barrels of oil a day. Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter.

The announcement came as Saudi Arabia's oil minister was visiting Moscow Monday to encourage Russia to cut oil production.

OPEC member countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss ways to reverse the fall in oil prices, and are expected to announce their fourth cut in oil production this year of up to 1.5 million barrels a day. They want non OPEC producers to agree to considerable production cuts as well.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 in the United States and the general world economic slowdown have taken a toll on oil prices, which are now hovering around $19 a barrel.

OPEC ministers hope production cuts will help boost prices to $25 a barrel.