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Russia’s oil export revenues jumped to $17.1 billion in August, up by $1.8 billion compared to July, as higher oil prices more than offset lower export volumes, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday in its Oil Market Report for September.
Oil prices started climbing into the $80-$85 a barrel range for Brent Crude last month, before jumping into the low $90s in early September after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their oil supply cuts until the end of 2023.
Total Russian crude and fuel exports fell by an estimated 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) from July, to 7.2 million bpd in August, led by lower product shipments, the IEA said. The export levels in August 2023 were 570,000 bpd below the levels seen in August 2022.
Russia’s oil exports to China and India slumped to 3.9 million bpd in August from 4.7 million bpd in April and May, but accounted for more than half the total volumes, the IEA said.
The higher international oil prices and the narrower discounts of Russia’s crude grades to Brent have led to higher export revenues for Putin despite the lower seaborne shipments in August.
The price of Russia’s flagship crude grade, Urals, averaged $74 per barrel in August, slightly down from August 2022, but way above the G7 price cap of $60 and higher than the July average of $64.37 a barrel, according to data by the Russian Finance Ministry.
To compare, the average price of North Sea Dated Brent was $86.20 per barrel in August.
Between January and August 2023, the average price of Urals was $56.58 per barrel, compared to an average of $82.13 a barrel for the same period of 2022, the ministry’s data showed.
August was the second consecutive month in which the average price of Russia’s Urals had exceeded the $60 price cap set by the G7 and the EU if Russian crude shipments to third countries outside the EU are to use Western insurance and financing.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com