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Port Maintenance Drags Russia’s Oil Shipments Down to Three-Month Low

Maintenance works at Russia’s busiest oil ports dragged down weekly crude oil shipments to the lowest level in over three months as the ports of Primorsk on the Baltic Sea and Kozmino in the Far East halted vessel departures for four days each in the week to June 23.

Last week, Russian crude oil exports by sea fell by 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the previous week, to the lowest level in more than three months – 3.04 million bpd, vessel-tracking data monitored by Bloomberg showed on Tuesday.

The four-week average exports also dropped, by around 45,000 bpd to 3.37 million bpd, according to the data reported by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee.

In the previous week to June 16, before the port maintenance, Bloomberg’s data showed that Russia continued to raise its crude oil exports by sea for a second consecutive week despite promising to stick strictly to its OPEC+ output target in June.

In the four weeks to June 16, Russian crude oil shipments jumped by some 80,000 bpd to 3.42 million bpd. The week to June 16 was the second consecutive week in which the four-week average of Russia’s crude export volumes increased compared to the prior four-week average.

Russia’s crude exports hit the highest level in 11 months in the week to April 14, as export terminals likely shipped more crude that couldn’t be processed at refineries knocked offline by Ukrainian drone attacks.

Between the middle of April and the beginning of June, crude flows out of Russia’s ports were trending down, according to the data analyzed by Bloomberg.

But in June, seaborne crude exports started rising again, and the volumes have recovered about one-third of their recent decline.

This came even as Russia’s Energy Ministry pledged earlier this month that Russia would reach its oil production quota in June after exceeding its target output under the OPEC+ deal in May.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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