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    Russia to cut oil exports, raise domestic consumption - Sechin

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    Russia will cut oil exports and increase domestic oil consumption in a bid to stabilize world oil prices amid the ongoing financial crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said on Sunday.

    VIENNA, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will cut oil exports and increase domestic oil consumption in a bid to stabilize world oil prices amid the ongoing financial crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said on Sunday.

    "We will be cutting oil exports through the expansion of domestic consumption. In particular, we plan to transfer 2 million tons of fuel to agricultural producers and also increase oil refining inside the country," Sechin said.

    Sechin spoke on the eve of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, which is set to decide on whether to cut oil output quotas further to keep world oil prices stable.

    Sechin urged coordinated action with world oil producers, adding that Russia was ready to consider joining OPEC if all Russian accords and proposals were met.

    Russia, which accounts for over 10% of global oil output, has so far acted as an observer at the 12-member organization. Sechin, who oversees Russia's fuel and energy sector in the government, earlier said Russia is considering different options in its cooperation with OPEC, from observer to membership.

    Oil prices have plunged to just around $40 per barrel from their mid-July highs of $147 per barrel as credit crunch has reduced the demand for fuel.

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