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Russia Says Oil Products Are Included In Its 300,000-Bpd Export Cut Pledge

Russia’s commitment to reduce its oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) includes oil products, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday in remarks that sowed further confusion about how much oil supply Russia is really withholding from the market.

Russia has pledged to reduce its oil exports by 300,000 bpd until the end of 2023, in a show of solidarity with its OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia, which is voluntarily reducing its oil production by 1 million bpd until 2023.

While the Saudis essentially stick to their promises, Russia appears to be looking for excuses for the fact that it hasn’t delivered on the pledged export cuts.

Months ago, when Russia first announced a 500,000-bpd cut – later lowered to a 300,000-bpd reduction – analysts expressed doubts about Russia’s actual supply cut, due to the opaque nature of Russian oil trade and the lack of data from Moscow, which has stopped reporting volumes after the invasion of Ukraine.  

Today, Novak said, as carried by Russian news agency TASS, “When we talk about the oil market, about production, oil is extracted and supplied to markets and for processing, everything is considered together."

“The final product takes into account the production volumes that are produced,” Novak added.

In September, Russia’s total crude and petroleum product exports rose by 460,000 bpd to 7.6 million bpd, with crude oil accounting for 250,000 bpd of the increase, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report published on Thursday.

As a result of higher export volumes and narrower discounts of the key Russian crude grades to international benchmarks, Russia’s oil export revenues surged in September to the highest level since July 2022, the IEA has estimated. 

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Russian oil export revenues jumped by $1.8 billion to $18.8 billion in September 2023—the highest level since July last year. The weighted average crude export price rose by $8 per barrel to $81.80 a barrel of Russian crude, narrowing the discount to North Sea Dated to $12.20 a barrel, its lowest since March 2022, per the IEA.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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