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Moscow — The OPEC/non-OPEC coalition will try to recruit at least 10 and up to 16 more oil producing countries to join in output cuts to bolster market rebalancing efforts, Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio del Pino said Wednesday.

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If the coalition is able to get more participants, that could obviate the need to extend the production cut agreement or implement deeper cuts, as ministers are discussing, he said.

"Maybe we don't need to expect another extension, we could have actions to accelerate that balancing," Del Pino told reporters on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week conference. "But that's something we need consensus on among all the countries."

The current deal, which runs through March, calls on OPEC and 10 non-OPEC countries led by Russia to cut a combined 1.8 million b/d.

Del Pino said that he had talked with Egypt on Tuesday, and fellow OPEC member Equatorial Guinea was recruiting seven African countries, including Uganda, Chad and Congo.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak on Tuesday said Turkmenistan could join. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday led a delegation to Turkmenistan, where officials discussed cooperation on gas production and marketing.

The countries that the coalition is targeting have a combined production of some 24 million to 25 million b/d, Del Pino said.

That would be on top of the approximately 50 million b/d that the 24 current members of the OPEC/non-OPEC coalition currently produce, more than half of global supply.

"We have counted between 10 and 12 additional countries from South America, from Africa, and we are expecting that maybe we can include up to 40 countries in this agreement," Del Pino said. "That could be a very strong declaration, that would be an excellent relationship."

--Staff reports,
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles,