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Russian oil chief Sechin: Opec's unity effectively extinct

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Opec is effectively extinct as a united organisation and the time when it could determine global oil market conditions should be forgotten, Igor Sechin, head of Russia's biggest oil firm Rosneft, told Reuters.

[MOSCOW] Opec is effectively extinct as a united organisation and the time when it could determine global oil market conditions should be forgotten, Igor Sechin, head of Russia's biggest oil firm Rosneft, told Reuters.

The comments are the first from Russia's most influential oil executive after leading crude producers failed to agree to freeze output to support prices at a meeting in Qatar last month.

Mr Sechin, a long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin, has expressed sceptical views about Opec before, saying that top oil producer Russia should stick to its own strategy and protect its market share.

"The 1970s, when a series of the largest Middle East producers could determine global oil market conditions by creating cartel structures such as Opec, should be forgotten," Mr Sechin told Reuters in e-mailed comments.

"At the moment a number of objective factors exclude the possibility for any cartels to dictate their will to the market. ... As for Opec, it has practically stopped existing as a united organisation."

REUTERS