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Russia’s Rosneft reported on Thursday a 0.5-percent sequential increase in its oil production in the second quarter, attributing the rise to increased drilling activity.
The Russian giant pumped 4.11 million barrels per day (bpd) in April to June, as its key brownfield asset Yuganskneftegaz saw its production grow 1.5 percent from the first quarter this year. Rosneft’s total average hydrocarbon output was 5.22 million bpd, a 0.2-percent uptick quarter-on-quarter.
In 2015, Rosneft’s hydrocarbon output had increased 1 percent annually by 5.159 million bpd — with an acceleration in the fourth quarter — while liquids production had dropped 1 percent.
Rosneft’s operational performance for the second quarter comes after news broke that the Kremlin had banned Rosneft’s shareholders from closing deals among themselves before the privatization of as much as 20 percent of the state giant goes through, which may not take place this year, according to Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukaev.
The ban is most likely targeting BP, which is the only non-Russian big shareholder in the company with a 19.75-percent interest. The government owns 69.50 percent via Rosneftegaz, a state-owned company, and the National Settlement Depository holds 10.36 percent.
The stake sale has been prompted by the gaping deficit in Russia’s budget, caused by the persistently low oil prices. This year, the deficit is estimated to reach 4 percent of GDP, equal to some US$23 billion. The proceeds from the Rosneft privatization are expected to be around US$10.5 billion.
However, the Russian government may postpone the sale of a Rosneft stake awaiting brighter times for oil prices.
If the sale does not happen, and oil prices stay below US$40 per barrel for the rest of the year, the government will need to spend nearly all of its reserves.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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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…