Russia's crude oil and condensates production gained 5 percent last month, according to an industry source who spoke to Vedomosti daily.
Compared to May 2021, however, output was down by 2.5 percent, the source also told Vedomosti.
What these latest figures mean, if confirmed by official data, is that Russia's oil output in May averaged 10.2 million bpd, which was down from 11.1 million bpd in February and 11 million bpd in March.
Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the government expected Russian oil production to continue rising, with the current month marking the biggest increase from previous months.
Russia's oil production suffered the effects of sanction action from the European Union, the UK, and the United States following Moscow's incursion into Ukraine in late February.
The latest escalation in this action was an in-principle decision by the European Union to embargo Russian oil shipments, leaving only flows via the Druzhba pipeline that feeds oil to Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Germany. With the other two planning to stop buying Russian oil by the end of the year, the EU expects to reduce its imports of Russian crude by as much as 90 percent.
It was in this context that the OPEC+ club decided yesterday to boost its target production increase from 432,000 bpd for July and August to 648,000 bpd. Whether it can actually deliver, however, is another question.
Reports that Russia would be exempted or suspended from the OPEC+ deal because of Western sanctions proved inaccurate.
Moscow, meanwhile, called the EU's ambition to reduce oil imports "self-destructive".
"The European Union's decisions to partially phase out Russian oil and oil products, as well as to ban insurance on Russian merchant ships, are highly likely to provoke further price increases, destabilize energy markets, and disrupt supply chains," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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