Deputy PM Novak: Russian oil output flat against Dec in Jan, no decline
ASHGABAT. Jan 19 (Interfax) - Russian oil companies are maintaining production at the level of December in January, and no decline has been observed, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Interfax on the sidelines of a Russian-Turkmen business forum.
"January hasn't finished yet, but [production] is currently at the level of December," Novak said.
"We talked about how there is a risk for us of a decline in production, but a decline in our production hasn't been observed yet. We're going to gauge, to watch. Our companies are operating, maintaining production and export capabilities as much as possible," he said.
Novak told reporters later that oil exports this month also remained at the December level, but with a big discount.
"This is natural, because buyers are pricing in risks, but given the stabilization of the situation, we think that the discount ought to decrease. So we will now look at how exports can be ensured going forward. Accordingly, our companies are [working on] all the necessary logistics routes, working constantly on these issues: both insurance and purchases," Novak said.
He said Russian crude was still in demand on the world market and still had a big share of it. "It is difficult to maintain the energy balance without Russian oil today," he said.
The International Energy Agency said Russia's production of oil with condensate decreased slightly in December compared to November - by 30,000 bpd to 11.21 million bpd.