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Novak: Russia’s Crude Production Up In May

Russia’s crude oil production is on the rise so far in May, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told TASS news agency on Monday.

Russia’s crude oil production slipped by half a million bpd in March, by a full million bpd in April, with many analysts stating concern that those barrels may never return to the market. April’s OPEC+ production quota was set at 10.436 million bpd.

But according to Novak, the picture isn’t quite so bleak, with Russian crude oil production now stabilizing despite sanctions.

“Looking at the figures of early May, they are better than in April. The situation is stable, the output increased in comparison to April. We are counting on partial recovery of data in May and that it will be better,” Novak told TASS, without quantifying the increased production figures.

According to Interfax, Russia’s crude oil production slipped to 10.05 million bpd in April, a decline of about 4% year over year, but for the first few days in May, this had edged up 2% over April figures, to an average of 10.28 million bpd.

But even that increase is a far cry from Russia’s May output quota set by the OPEC+ group, which is 10.549 million barrels per day.

In April, Russia’s economy ministry had estimated that it could shed some 17% of its pre-war oil production this year—an estimation that is widely shared, if not conservative, in the industry.

The fear of Russia’s “lost” oil production is, in part, what triggered the United States and other IEA members to agree to release millions of barrels of crude oil from emergency stockpiles to stabilize the market. And while crude oil prices were trading down on Monday, Brent was still trading at more than $106 per barrel, with WTI still over $103 per barrel.

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Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia lowered its June official selling price differentials for crude oil to China--largely seen as a bellwether for oil prices.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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