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Russia raised oil production slightly to 10.17 million barrels per day (bpd) between May 1 and 29, TASS news agency reported on Monday, still leaving output nearly 1 million bpd below levels before the West imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Production from the world’s third biggest producer after the United States and Saudi Arabia dropped by about 10% to 10.05 million bpd in April from February, after some buyers postponed or refused Russian barrels due to sanctions.

TASS, citing a source familiar with preliminary oil and oil condensate production data, said output had been slightly restored to 10.17 million bpd on May 1-29. The report did not give a reason for the increase.

Oil prices climb above $120 a barrel ahead of EU meeting on Russia sanctions

One Russian oil executive called for Russia to restrain production by 20%-30% to 7 million-8 million bpd to secure a better price and preserve resources for the future instead of pumping so much now and selling for a discount.

Alexander Novak, Russian deputy prime minister, said last week Russia would produce between 480 million tonnes to 500 million tonnes of oil this year, or 9.64 million bpd to 10.04 million bpd, depending on the external conditions.

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