Russia Becomes World’s Largest Oil Producer

For the second month in a row, Russia has maintained its status as the world’s largest oil producer, ousting Saudi Arabia, official figures in December 2016 and January 2017 have confirmed.

Russia’s daily oil output averaged about 10.8 million barrels in January, slightly more than 10.5 million barrels in December, according to data released by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat).

Saudi Arabia trailed behind in these two months, with its daily output averaging 9.95 million barrels in January, the data showed.

Saudi Arabia ranked the world’s No. 1 oil producer in November, pumping oil at a rate of 10.6 million barrels per day compared to Russia’s 10.4 million.

Crude oil accounted for nearly 30 percent of Russia’s total exports in January, up from 25 percent in the same period last year, Rosstat data showed.

To shore up persistently weak oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 11 non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed in November 2016 to trim production by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day.

The reduction deal became effective on Jan. 1, 2017 and runs until July this year. Russia promised to cut its daily oil output by up to 300,000 barrels in a gradual manner.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said last week that he expected Russian companies to reach the reduction target by the end of April.

On Monday, rating firm Moody’s raised the outlook for the global integrated oil and gas sector from stable to positive, noting that the production curb will allow producers’ operating margins to improve as prices increase.

// NAN

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