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Russia output rise rolling back oil cuts as supply risks worsen


Nation's production hit 11.215 million barrels per day in July. Output rose following OPEC+ agreement in June to lift supplies -Play Video-Oil Slides on Surprise Increase in U.S. Inventories

By Elena Mazleva

Petroleumworld 08 02 2018

Russia raised its crude production to levels not seen since it joined OPEC in a coordinated output cut more than a year ago, helping the group offset supply disruptions elsewhere.

The world's biggest energy exporter boosted its oil production last month to 11.215 million barrels a day, just below the post-Soviet record set in October 2016, according to government data . That's a jump of 148,000 barrels a day from a month earlier, Bloomberg calculations show.

Since Russia joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in reducing output, crude prices have risen to three-year highs as the glutted market rebalanced. The cartel and its allies -- known as OPEC+ -- decided to increase production in June in response to consumers' concerns over rising prices and supply disruptions, so traders and investors have been watching Russia's oil data closely.

Russia's production last month was just 40,540 barrels a day lower than in October 2016, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement late on Wednesday . The country has been pumping more following “joint efforts of OPEC and non-OPEC countries aimed at stabilizing the oil market,” he said. Output last month increased 1.3 percent compared with June, according to the data emailed Thursday by the ministry's CDU-TEK statistical unit. Oil exports were up 1.5 percent.

OPEC's own crude output jumped by 300,000 barrels a day in July, according to a Bloomberg survey , as Saudi Arabia offset losses from an economic collapse in Venezuela , political clashes in Libya and an expectation that Iranian exports will drop due to U.S. sanctions

In September, OPEC+ may discuss whether a bigger production increase is needed, Novak said last month. Russia began ramping up output in June, led by its biggest producer -- state-run Rosneft PJSC . The country's number of working oil wells increased that month by more than 2 percent from a year before.

Russia's energy ministry has never publicly shared its estimate of the country's spare oil capacity. Before the June OPEC+ gathering, analyst estimates varied from 215,000 to 500,000 barrels a day. Saudi Arabia had estimated its spare capacity at more than 2 million barrels a day. The kingdom increased its oil production by some 230,000 barrels a day in July -- to 10.65 million -- which is also close to an all-time peak reached in 2016.

— With assistance by Dina Khrennikova


Story by Elena Mazleva from Bloomberg. 08 01 2018

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