Russia is set to reduce its oil exports from seaports in the coming month by an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 barrels per day compared to December levels, as indicated by industry insiders familiar with Russia’s export strategies.
According to anonymous sources cited by Reuters, the decision to scale back is attributed to increased throughput at Russia’s refineries.
Kpler’s data for December reveals Russia’s seaborne crude oil exports at 3.5 million barrels per day. Kpler’s projections also anticipate a decline in Russia’s oil exports for January, coinciding with a boost in domestic refining activities. The offline refining capacity for December is reported to have reached 2.098 million metric tons.
“The export projections for the first quarter of 2024 indicate a decrease compared to the October-December period, as disclosed by one of the sources to Reuters.
The sources emphasize that the anticipated declines will be predominantly observed in Russia’s western ports, specifically Primorsk, Ust-Luga, and Novorosslick.
Russia follows a three-month export schedule, planned in the preceding month, allowing oil companies to strategize the flow of oil through the Transneft system.
In a recent announcement, Russia stated that its crude oil exports for this year are expected to be 7 percent higher than the levels recorded in 2021, before the invasion of Ukraine. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov informed Interfax that the projected exports for 2023 are set at 250 million tons.
Despite sanctions and price caps, Russia has maintained its high-level crude oil exports through its extensive network of tankers in the shadow fleet.”
In November, the nation committed to a voluntary pledge to augment export reductions in accordance with its agreement with the OPEC+ alliance, raising the total to 500,000 barrels per day. Of this total, 300,000 barrels per day constitute crude oil, while the remaining 200,000 barrels per day pertain to oil products.