1 Feb 2023 15:22

Urals crude averages at $49.48/bbl in Jan, spread widens vs. Dec but growth slows by end-Jan - MinFin

MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) - The Urals crude price averaged at $49.48 a barrel in January 2023, down 41.2% from $85.64/bbl in the same month last year, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The price fell in December also, by 30.6% year-on-year to $50.47/bbl. Urals averaged up 10.3% in 2022 as a whole to $76.09/bbl.

Brent crude averaged at $84/bbl in January, so the Urals discount was around 41%. This is more than in December, when Brent averaged at $81.2 and Urals at $50.47, the spread being around 38%. But it was less than for the monitoring period December 15, 2022 to January 14, 2023, when Brent was $82 and Urals $46.82, the spread being 43%.

Russia's budget assumes that Urals will trade at $70.1/bbl in 2023. The Finance Ministry has estimated the oil and gas revenue shortfall at 54.5 billion rubles in January. The ministry will publish its estimate of oil and gas revenue for the next month and aggregate and daily currency market transactions for the period on February 3.

European companies have been banned from buying Russian oi since December 5. Russia is redirecting supplies to Asian markets, mainly China and India. In addition, the G7 countries and the European Union, in an attempt to limit Russia's oil revenues but maintain its presence in the market, have banned their companies from transporting Russian oil and providing services related to its transportation if oil is not sold at a ceiling set by their governments, which has been $60/bbl since December 5. Russia has banned its companies from selling oil if the "ceiling" condition is specified in contracts.