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Russia’s Oil Production Rises Ahead Of OPEC+ Meeting

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Russia’s average oil production increased to 11.29 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, up by 3.2 percent on the year and slightly up from 11.28 million bpd in January, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing data from the Russian Energy Ministry.

Russia’s oil production figures, however, include gas condensate, which, as of this year, is not included in the Russian production and quota as part of the OPEC+ production cut agreement.   

The Russian energy ministry’s statistics do not break down yet crude oil and condensate production, but the ministry will regularly provide that breakdown to analysts, media, and OPEC, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said, according to Bloomberg.

Removing condensate from the level of compliance—a concession Russia won at the December OPEC+ meeting—makes Russia’s compliance record look more acceptable to OPEC’s leader and key partner in the deal, Saudi Arabia, which is pushing for all rogue producers in the pact to fall in line with their quotas.

The overall crude oil and condensate production in February is higher than the 11.28 million bpd level in January, which was the highest production level since August last year.

According to Russia’s energy ministry data cited by Interfax, production in January and February increased by 1.1 percent compared to the same period of 2019.

The rise in Russia’s crude and condensate production comes as Moscow is set to meet its OPEC partners later this week to discuss how to react to the oil price slump and lower global demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. Russia continues to refuse to announce its position regarding proposals of deeper cuts by the OPEC+ coalition. 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that “the current oil prices are acceptable for the Russian budget and our economy,” but noted that the OPEC+ cooperation “has already proved to be an efficient tool for ensuring long-term stability in the global energy markets,” – comments suggesting he continues to view the cooperation with OPEC as positive.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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