INTERVIEW-Big Three oil states can raise output to offset fall in Iran supplies: Perry

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MOSCOW, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia can between them raise global output in the next 18 months to compensate for falling oil supplies from Iran and elsewhere, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on a visit to Moscow on Friday.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Perry said he had a positive feeling about Saudi Arabia’s ability to maintain and even increase its level of production.

He said there were a number of reasons for that, among them the prospect that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia would soon resolve a border dispute, unlocking access to an oil field in the contested area.

Perry said that in the United States he expected a more substantial increase in crude output over the next 18 months than the increases seen so far, as new pipeline capacity is brought on stream.

Russia, meanwhile, was “working diligently” to deliver output to the world market, Perry said.

“So I don’t foresee spikes” in world oil prices, he said in the interview.

Some analysts have expressed concerns about Saudi Arabias long term ability to significantly boost output.

On Washington’s fraught political relationship with Russia, Perry said both he and his Russian counterpart, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, would rather not seen an expansion of U.S. sanctions.

But he said the ball was in Russia’s court.

“Russia has the opportunity to send a message that they are going to be good neighbours, they are going to be civilised in the way they deal with their neighbours. That has yet to be seen, from our perspective, in dealing with Ukraine.”

Russia’s conduct towards other countries would influence whether the United States was compelled to impose sanctions on the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

“Until those signals get sent, the potential sanctions of Nord Stream 2 are still very real,” he said. (Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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