Question marks over Russia’s compliance to OPEC+ cuts

The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) forecasted that Russia will not fully comply with the cuts agreement during the first half of 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 January 2019
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Question marks over Russia’s compliance to OPEC+ cuts

RIYADH: The Brent crude oil price fell slightly to $61.64 per barrel at the end of last week, amid perceptions that Russia might not be able to promptly comply with OPEC+ output cuts agreed in December.
As part of the deal, Russia agreed to cut its production by 230,000 million barrels per day (bpd) from the 11.41 bpd touched in October.
But the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) forecasted that Russia will not fully comply with the cuts agreement during the first half of 2019.
Due to its old oil infrastructure and mature oil fields, Russia cannot promptly decrease oil production — and the market is waiting to see where its output level for the first quarter of 2019 stands.
Unlike in Saudi Arabia — where Aramco is the only state oil producer — Russia has many major oil companies. These include the largest oil producer Rosneft — which produces over 4 million bpd — along with Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, Gazprom and others.
During the OPEC meeting in Vienna in December 2018, Rosneft announced that its oil output forecasts for the the first six months of 2019 remain unchanged. That is mainly because Rosneft aims to increase production from three new fields it launched in Siberia in 2018. This led some market participants to question not only Russia’s compliance with the new OPEC+ agreement, but also that of other non-OPEC producers.
Market participants are confused by some of the statements from Russia with regard to energy policy and compliance with OPEC+ output cuts. Unlike what is seen with OPEC producers, statements by Russia’s energy minister sometimes vary from those made by executives of the country’s oil companies.
The compliance with the agreed output cuts — in which OPEC members and other large oil producers including Russia agreed to cut their combined crude production by 1.2 million bpd from January to halt a decline in oil prices — will be key to balancing the market in 2019.
Despite question marks over Russia’s compliance with the deal, OPEC in 2018 managed the various challenges successfully and was, as a whole, able to alter its output strategy based on the market needs.


Iraq has enough oil capacity to meet customer needs: oil minister

Updated 25 April 2019
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Iraq has enough oil capacity to meet customer needs: oil minister

  • Thamer Ghadhban also says there are no acute oil shortages for the time being
  • but Iraq would continue to monitor the market to assess the need for additional supply

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s oil minister said on Thursday his country had the capacity to increase its oil production to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) if needed, but it was committed to OPEC-led output cuts and would not take unilateral action to boost supply.
Thamer Ghadhban also said there were no acute oil shortages for the time being, but Iraq would continue to monitor the market to assess the need for additional barrels at the next OPEC meeting.
On Monday, the United States decided not to renew exemptions from sanctions against Iran granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, taking a tougher line than expected and triggering a rally in oil prices on fears of oil supply shortages.