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Russia’s Crude Shipments Rise Despite Vow to Fix Overproduction

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, tanker-tracking data and port agent reports monitored by Bloomberg showed on Tuesday.

In the four weeks to June 16, Russian crude oil shipments rose by some 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 3.42 million bpd, according to the data reported by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee. 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, Bloomberg’s Lee noted.  

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

Russia slightly exceeded its OPEC+ quota in May, the ministry said, adding that “the issue with overproduction will be resolved in June, when the target will be achieved.” The excess production volumes that Russia has pumped since April will be fully compensated for in the future, with the overproduction offset during the compensation period until the end of September 2025, the Russian energy ministry said.

It also reiterated that “Russia remains fully committed to the fundamental principles of the OPEC+ deal.”

When the OPEC+ members announced in early March their intentions to extend the cuts into the second quarter, Russia changed its production/export cut plan and said that it would reduce supply by 471,000 bpd in the second quarter in the form of cuts to oil production and exports. Russia has pledged its supply cut in June would be entirely from production reductions.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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