12 September 2016, Moscow — Russia’s oil output, the world’s largest, is seen rising 2.2 percent this year, above expectations, to reach almost a 30-year high of 546-547 million tonnes as companies ramp up drilling, two sources close to the Energy Ministry said on Monday.
Russia has constantly exceeded forecasts for oil production which has been on a steady rise since 2009 when a slump in oil prices dragged down output.
Since then, Russian companies have increased drilling by around 10 percent per year.
“It (output) will be 546-547 million tonnes this year: companies are actively drilling and Lukoil is launching new fields,” one source said.
Another source confirmed the new expectations.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters in July that oil production was expected to reach 542-544 million tonnes this year (10.85-10.90 million barrels per day), up from about 534 million tonnes in 2015.
The Energy Ministry did not respond to a request for immediate comment.
Russia’s oil production stood at 10.71 million barrels per day in August, down 1.3 percent from July volumes due to seasonal maintenance.
Output has recovered since then and was close to 11 million barrels per day (b/d) in the period of September 1-7.
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the leading global oil producers, earlier this month agreed to work towards a possible freeze in oil output volumes to support oil prices.
Lukoil, Russia’s No.2 oil producer, is to launch the Pyakyakhinskoye oilfield in the Northern Yamal region later this month and will produce 100,000 tonnes of oil this year.
The company is also due to start production at the offshore Filanovskogo deposit in the Caspian Sea in September with a view to extracting up to one million tonnes of oil by the year-end.
*Olesya Astakhova; Vladimir Soldatkin; editing – Maria Kiselyova & Jason Neely – Reuters