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Russia’s Oil Output Rises 2.3 Percent Since January

Offshore rig

Russia’s oil output has risen by 2.3 percent annually since the beginning of this year, deputy energy minister Kirill Molodtsov said on Wednesday, hours before his boss, energy minister Alexander Novak, is expected to meet later this week with Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih to discuss possible joint cooperation on crude production.

Referring to Russia’s refining capacity and exports, Molodtsov told reporters, as quoted by the TASS agency:

“Our goal of processing is first of all to satisfy domestic demand. Deficit is not expected.”

Russia’s oil exports rose by 4.6 percent on the year between January and October, with October exports inching up 0.1 percent over the export levels from October last year.

Last month, Russia’s oil production hit a new post-Soviet era high at 11.2 mln bpd. Russia itself and analysts alike predict that the country’s production would also increase next year, with new fields coming online.

Goldman Sachs expects Russia’s oil output at 11.7 million bpd in 2017, an upward revision of a previous estimate that claimed average daily output would be nearer to 11.4 million barrels. The earlier estimate envisaged the 11.7 million bpd mark wouldn’t be reached until 2018, but Russia appears to be ramping up production faster than most observers seem to have expected.

Russia is currently looking for its own interest and is waiting to see if OPEC could pull off a deal on production limits before expressing firm positions on whether it would commit to join.

The website of Russia’s energy ministry is boldly flashing a quote by minister Novak saying that “we believe that a freeze is the most efficient instrument to stabilize the situation on the oil market”.

It still remains to be seen if non-OPEC Russia would really join a freeze, but before that, OPEC needs to get its own members overcome bickering, resistance, and disputes.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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