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Russia Tops World’s Biggest Oil Producers List

Russia pumped the most crude oil in the world in December, dethroning Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer. The difference in the two countries’ daily averages stood at 30,000 barrels.

Russia, meanwhile, has been cutting its 300,000 bpd gradually, reporting a 100,000-bpd reduction in its January output. It will cut another 100,000 bpd by the end of next month, and the rest of the agreed amount in the second quarter. Early this month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that global oil output was cut by 1.4 million barrels per day in January, in the aftermath of the deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to rebalance the market.

Related: Norway Doubles Down On Arctic Oil

The OPEC cut has been a boon for Russia. Besides agreeing to a much smaller cut than its Saudi rivals, it has now also gained expanded access to Asian markets, as crude from their usual Middle Eastern suppliers becomes more expensive thanks to the cuts.

Chinese refinery demand already helped Russia outstrip Saudi Arabia to take the top spot in crude exports to China last year, and now demand from the teapots – the independent refineries in the world’s #2 consumer – is driving higher exports of the Urals blend, which…

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