Russia to raise oil exports in third quarter

  • 2002-06-27
  • Agence France-Presse, Moscow
Russia will raise its oil exports by about 150,000 barrels per day as of July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko announced June 25.

Russia supplies most of the oil shipped from the Baltic states.

Khristenko, who did not specify where the export increases would be routed, described the decision as "technical" in nature, saying that Russia was only following through on previously agreed oil sales, and was not signing any new export contracts during the third-quarter of the year.

His announcement came one day ahead of a full ministerial meeting of experts from Russia and the OPEC oil cartel, which has been pressing Moscow to limit its export in a bid to stabilize global oil prices.

Russia, the world's second leading oil exporter, had agreed to cut its exports by 150,000 barrels per day in December in a deal to revive oil prices which slumped sharply amid global economic slowdown fears.

OPEC, which produces over 30 percent of the world's crude, believes world oil prices remain fragile and is concerned that a new increase in global oil supply would send prices back through the floor.

But Moscow decided in mid-May progressively to ease the restrictions.

With prices now back around $25 a barrel, Moscow says it can resume exporting at full capacity.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin recently said that no restrictions would be imposed as long as oil prices remained above $20 a barrel.

Khristenko's announcement for the third-quarter of the year applied to exports outside the former Soviet Union, and he did not specify Russia's expected exports within the Commonwealth of Independent States that groups ex-Soviet republics except for the three Baltic states.