MOSCOW (Reuters) - Igor Sechin, the head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia were the three main players on global oil markets, dismissing again OPEC's role as a regulator.

He told Rossiya-24 TV that Russia's role in hydrocarbon markets will strengthen.

Russia is the world's top oil and natural gas producer, pumping oil at around 10.8 million barrels per day. It plans to at least keep production of crude oil, its chief export commodity, at the current level.

Sechin has said the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has lost its power in term of its ability to regulate the global oil market.

"We believe that the (function of) regulation has moved to three main players, which are the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia," he said.

"The main reasons which led to this are quite simple: the valuation of the resource base, the existence of technologies and financial tools... All the participants which I named have all the instruments," Sechin said, adding that the United States has the upper hand on the markets due to its prominent role as a big consumer.

"Russia has all the Soviet infrastructure in place... and we are working on new markets."

Last month, Sechin told Reuters that internal differences are killing OPEC and its ability to influence the markets has all but evaporated.

Rosneft expects the oil price to be $50-$55 per barrel by the year end, rising further to $65 by the end of 2017, Sechin added on Tuesday.[O/R]

Speaking about government plans to sell 19.5 percent of Rosneft, Sechin said he favored selling to a strategic investor rather than place it on the stock market.

He said Rosneft has held not talks with Chinese or Indian companies about privatization.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Susan Fenton/Ruth Pitchford)