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Russian pumps primed

The country’s producers have been cutting output in the first two quarters of 2017, but their guidance to investors is for a reversal in the second half

Russian oil producers are preparing to boost production even as the country has made genuine—and, to much of the market, surprising—progress in its pledge to reduce output in line with the deal with Opec last year. In mid-April, the signals from within Opec were that a deal to extend the cuts beyond its meeting on 25 May was baked in. But it wants Russia to agree the same too. In late March, energy minster Alexander Novak said Russia needed more time to assess the market before deciding. So far, Russia is on track to meet its obligations. By late March, its output was down by almost 200,000 barrels a day compared with its October production, used as a baseline for the deal. Novak insisted

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