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 intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

Updated 20 April 2019
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US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

  • The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing
  • Huawei dismissed the allegations

US intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.
The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source.
Earlier this year, US intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the report.
Huawei dismissed the allegations in a statement cited by the newspaper.
“Huawei does not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources,” a Huawei representative told The Times.
The company, the CIA and Chinese state security agencies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns in the United States that Huawei’s equipment could be used for espionage. The company has said the concerns are unfounded.
Authorities in the United States are probing Huawei for alleged sanctions violations.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
She denies wrongdoing and her father has previously said the arrest was “politically motivated.”
Amid such charges, top educational institutions in the West have recently severed ties with Huawei to avoid losing federal funding.
Another Chinese technology company, ZTE Corp. , has also been at the center of similar controversies in the United States.
US sanctions forced ZTE to stop most business between April and July last year after Commerce Department officials said it broke a pact and was caught illegally shipping US-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks.