Russian oil output down in January, misses global deal target

Above, a petrochemical facility being built on the outskirts of Tobolsk, at the heart of Russia’s Siberia. (AFP)
Updated 02 February 2019
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Russian oil output down in January, misses global deal target

  • Rosneft, the world’s largest oil producer by output, reduced its production by 0.1 percent last month from December
  • Russia has pledged to cut its production by around 230,000 bpd in the first quarter

MOSCOW: Russian oil output declined to 11.38 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, or by around 35,000 bpd from the October 2018 level, the baseline for the global oil accord, missing the deal’s target, Energy Ministry data showed on Saturday.
This was down from 11.45 million bpd in December, a record monthly high. In tons, oil output reached 48.113 million versus 48.442 million in December.
Russian oil pipeline exports in January fell to 4.313 million bpd from 4.496 million bpd in December.
Rosneft, the world’s largest oil producer by output, reduced its production by 0.1 percent last month from December, while second-largest Russian oil producer Lukoil saw production cuts of 0.8 percent.
Output at Rosneft’s largest unit, RN-Yuganskneftegaz, declined by 0.8 percent after a blaze ripped through Priobskoye oilfield in early January. Production at Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas giant Gazprom, edged up by 0.1 percent.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said the country’s overall cuts would total 50,000 bpd in January from October.
The Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries and other leading global oil producers agreed in December to cut their combined output by 1.2 million bpd in order to support oil prices and evenly balance the market.
Of that, Russia has pledged to cut its production by around 230,000 bpd in the first quarter.
Novak has also said Russia was unable to reduce oil output sharply due to technical limitations but would try to do so more quickly.
Reducing production presents a challenge because Russia’s harsh winter climate can cause wells to freeze, Russian officials and analysts have said.
According to a Reuters survey, OPEC oil supply has fallen in January by the largest amount in two years.
Russian natural gas production was at 67.43 billion cubic meters (bcm) last month, or 2.18 bcm a day, versus 67.04 bcm in December.


US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

Updated 2 min 13 sec ago
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US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

  • The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal
  • The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday

WASHINGTON: US-China trade talks aimed at ending a damaging tariff war will resume from Tuesday in Washington, the White House has announced.
The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal, though US President Donald Trump said the discussions were going “extremely well” and suggested he could extend a March 1 truce deadline for an agreement to be reached.
The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday, a White House statement issued Monday said.
For the US, the talks will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, economic policy adviser Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser Peter Navarro.
China’s commerce ministry meanwhile announced it would be represented by Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s top trade negotiator.
On Friday, Trump re-iterated he might be willing to hold off on increasing tariffs to 25 percent from the current 10 percent on March 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods if Washington and Beijing are close to finalizing an agreement to deal with US complaints about unfair trade and theft of American technology.
American officials accuse Beijing of seeking global industrial predominance through an array of unfair trade practices, including the “theft” of American intellectual property and massive state intervention in commodities markets.
Since a December detente, China has resumed purchases of some US soybeans and dangled massive buying of American commodities to get US trade negotiators closer to a deal.
The talks are aimed at “achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China,” Monday’s statement said.
“The two sides will also discuss China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of goods and services from the United States.”
Beijing and Washington have imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which are weighing on their manufacturing sectors and have shaken global financial markets.