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Russia Says New Discoveries Fully Replaced Its Oil and Gas Reserves in 2023

Russia replaced its oil and natural gas reserves last year, thanks to new large discoveries, according to a state commission.

New reserves of crude oil and gas condensate amounted to 550 million metric tons in 2023, the State Reserves Commission said, as quoted by Reuters. At the same time, Russia’s oil production was 523 million tons, equal to 10.46 million barrels per day (bpd), last year, according to the commission.

Natural gas reserves were also fully replaced in 2023, as new reserves stood at 705 billion cubic meters, while gas production was 642 billion cubic meters, per data from the state commission.

Despite data showing fully replaced reserves, Russia could face difficulties in placing some of its future oil and gas production on international markets.

Most of its crude oil and fuels found new markets in Asia, South America, and Africa, but natural gas exports have slumped since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gazprom’s pipeline natural gas exports to Europe slumped by 55.6% in  2023, after Russia cut off supplies to several EU countries and Nord Stream was blown up in the Baltic Sea at the end of 2022.

Russia’s daily gas volumes via pipeline to Europe plummeted to 77.6 million cubic meters in 2023 from 174.8 million cubic meters in 2022, according to estimates by Reuters based on data from European gas transmission group Entsog and Gazprom’s daily reports on transit via Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia may have to put its plans to significantly boost its eastbound pipeline gas exports and its LNG exports to the global markets on ice amid growing challenges.  

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Russia has relied on the Chinese market for higher pipeline gas exports since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the slashed volumes of gas supplies to Europe. But talks on a second pipeline to China appear to have stalled, while the Western sanctions on Moscow were intensified to include a flagship new LNG export project in the Arctic that was supposed to come online this year.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 24 2024 said:
    Replacing more than its entire crude oil and gas production in 2023 is a great achievement for Russia against a background of unprecedented Western sanctions against it, bans on its oil and gas exports and dealing with a major Western- supported conflict in the Ukraine.

    Russia has managed to discover 550 million tons of crude and condensate ((4.03 bn barrels) against a production of 523 million tons (38.3 billion barrels) in 2023.

    It also discovered 705 billion cubic metres of gas (bcm) against a production of 642 bcm in 2023.

    Having established new markets for its oil and gas exports, Russian will easily manage to export the newly-discovered oil and gas reserves in 2024.

    Moreover, it is going ahead with the building of its Spirit of Siberia 2 gas pipeline to bolster its gas exports to its biggest market China.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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