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Russia’s crude oil production averaged 11.16 million bpd in the first twelve days of May, Reuters reported on Monday, citing two industry sources, which means that Moscow is finally within its cap under the OPEC+ deal, although the decline in production may have been the result of restricted exports via the Druzhba oil pipeline due to a contamination issue.
As part of the OPEC+ production cuts between January and June, Russia is taking the lion’s share of the non-OPEC cuts and pledged to reduce production by 230,000 bpd from October’s post-Soviet record level of 11.421 million bpd, to 11.191 million bpd.
Russia’s crude oil production stood at around 11.24 million bpd in the first half of April, meaning that the leader of the non-OPEC group part of the OPEC+ deal had yet to fall in line with the pledged production cuts.
For the full month of April, Russian crude oil production averaged 11.23 million bpd, down from 11.3 million bpd in March, but still above the quota that Russia had pledged under the deal with OPEC to curb oil supply.
Moscow has repeatedly said that due to weather and geological conditions in the cold Russian winter, it cannot cut its oil production too quickly.
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Last month, Russia halted supplies via the Druzhba oil pipeline to several European countries due to a contamination issue, which the Russians say was deliberate. Russian production has been curtailed because of the restricted exports via the Druzhba pipeline.
Between May 1 and 12, the oil intake in the network of the oil pipeline company Transneft—which transports some 85 percent of all Russian crude oil—was 6 percent lower than the average in April, two sources with knowledge of the data told Reuters today, but did not elaborate whether the decline was the result of the contamination issue at the Druzhba pipeline.Over the weekend, Ukrainian oil pipeline transportation company Ukrtransnafta said that it had resumed oil transit to European clients via the Druzhba pipeline.
According to Russia’s energy ministry, normal deliveries via the pipeline are expected to resume in the second half of May.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.