With 2016 now closed out, we’re getting the first looks at year-end data. And numbers from one nation in the energy space have been particularly eye-catching this week.
Over the last 15 years, Russia vaulted upwards in oil and gas production — challenging for the world’s top producer of crude. A fact that’s especially critical given this big producer is a “rogue” nation that lies outside the purview of OPEC.
And 2016 was another big year for Russian oil output. With stats showing the country’s production rose again this past year — to an average 10.96 million barrels per day, up from 10.72 million barrels per day in 2015.
That came on the back of strong national production in December, where Russian producers pumped 11.21 million barrels per day — marking the highest output level in nearly 30 years.
That’s a very important data point for energy markets, showing that Russian supply is continuing to surge even as other big producers like Saudi Arabia are seeking production cuts.
And it isn’t just oil where Russia is having a major impact on global markets. Recent stats show the nation also had a banner year for natural gas output.
Russian natgas giant Gazprom said this past week that it increased 2016 production levels to 419 billion cubic meters, or 14.8 trillion cubic feet. A mark that exceeded Gazprom’s own forecasts for the year by 2.7 percent.
That rising production translated into higher exports, with Gazprom shipping 179 billion cubic meters to Europe during 2016 — marking a record yearly total. Related: Goldman Sachs: Oil Prices To Remain Under $60 In H1 2017
It’s not just pipeline gas that’s surging either. Russia’s burgeoning LNG exports also saw a 1.1 percent rise during 2016, to 14.69 billion cubic meters, according to government reports this week.
In fact, Russian LNG has been picking up speed even in the past few weeks, with December exports up 10.8 percent, to a total 1.47 billion cubic meters.
That puts Russia’s LNG shipments on pace for a 20 percent rise this coming year. Watch for more numbers on supply growth from this critical energy nation — and resulting effects on pricing in both oil and natural gas markets.
Here’s to the Russian bear,
By Dave Forest
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