Russian Oil Output Hits High in January Amid OPEC Deal Speculation

Source: Reuters 2/2/2016, Location: Asia

Oil production in Russia hit a post-Soviet high in January, reaching an average of 10.88 million barrels per day (bpd), preliminary data released by the Energy Ministry showed on Tuesday. That means Russia is adding to a global glut of oil at a time when markets are looking for any signs of a potential deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

Russia, the world's top oil producer, has in the last week sent mixed signals about possible cooperation with OPEC to support prices. It first suggested it should start talking to OPEC before saying there was no decision to do so. According to Tuesday's data, Russia extracted 46 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate last month, or 10.88 million bpd. Data for December was revised down to 10.80 million bpd. Gas production was at 61.94 billion cubic metres (bcm) last month, or at 2 bcm a day.

On Monday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, who is visiting OPEC and non-OPEC countries to try to drum up support for joint action to prop up low crude prices. Both discussed the situation on the global oil markets and the possibility of holding joint consultations between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in the near future, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement. Del Pino is expected to meet Igor Sechin, the head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, on Tuesday, an official from the Venezuelan delegation said on Monday.

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