OPEC Production Cuts: Is Russia Complying?
Russia’s oil production held onto an 11-month high in April, flat compared to March and above its quota under the OPEC/non-OPEC deal for a second consecutive month, according to data by Russia’s Energy Ministry.
Russia pumped a total of 10.97 million bpd of oil in April, unchanged from March, and slightly above its quota under the production cut deal, according to energy ministry data, as carried by Reuters.
Russia’s pledge in the OPEC/non-OPEC deal is to shave off 300,000 bpd from its October 2016 level, which was the country’s highest monthly production in almost 30 years—11.247 million bpd.
Last month, production at the larger Russian companies increased, while a decline at the smaller firms offset that growth. Production at Rosneft, the largest Russian oil company, inched up by 0.1 percent in April over March, while Gazprom Neft—which has an ambitious production growth plan—saw its oil production increase by 0.9 percent month on month. The combined production of the smaller oil companies decreased by 0.9 percent last month, offsetting the production gains at the bigger producers.
After three months of steady output, Russia’s crude oil production increased in March to 10.97 million bpd, the highest level since April 2017, as the top two Russian companies— Rosneft and Lukoil—boosted their production.
Russia is leading the non-OPEC group of oil producers part of the pact with OPEC to cut production in order to draw down inventories and boost oil prices. Analysts and official figures are already estimating that global oil stocks in developed economies are very close to or already within the five-year average—OPEC’s metric for the deal’s success.
Nevertheless, OPEC’s leader Saudi Arabia insists that there is more work to be done and the cuts should continue by the end of this year, as planned. Russia is more careful in comments, although it has repeatedly said that it is committed to the deal. Last month, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that at the June meeting, OPEC and allies could discuss ‘easing the cuts’ until the end of the year.
Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
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