International Energy Agency estimates the temporary pick-up in crude exports would not materialize over the long term, with the agency projecting the falloff in Russian oil output could be as much as 30% or 3 million bpd in April.
Two key factors playing against future growth in Russian oil production are a lack of access to unconventional drilling technology, such as hydraulic fracturing and enhanced oil recovery, and limited capital flow into greenfield projects in the Russian Far East, Arctic, and eastern Siberia. All of those regions have challenging geology, harsh climate, and require the buildout of new energy infrastructure. The lack of Western know-how, capital and cooperation would be detrimental for future Russian oil production growth.
Russia’s current output stands at 11.45 million bpd, according to this week’s Monthly Oil Market Report published by the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, with daily exports of crude and petroleum products standing near 8 million barrels (bbl).
In financial markets, the U.S. Dollar Index extended its recent rebound to settle near 98.227 on Friday, up 0.25% on the session, limiting the upside for the West Texas Intermediate. The U.S. crude benchmark for April delivery advanced $1.72 to settle at $104.70 bbl, and the international crude Brent contract for May delivery added $1.29 for a $107.93 bbl settlement. NYMEX April RBOB futures advanced 2.22 cents to $3.2388 gallon, and NYMEX April ULSD futures 11.07 cents or 3.2% to $3.5981 gallon.
On the geopolitical front, ceasefire talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations concluded this week without an agreement to stop the fighting as Moscow expanded its offensive into the Western part of the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Ukrainian demands to end the war “unrealistic,” adding that Moscow is ready to find solutions in accordance with its main strategy. The official strategy as it is known to the public was to guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality status, demilitarization, cessation of Crimea and breakaway republics of Lugansk and Donbass from the territory of Ukraine.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said officials “have real concerns” that Putin could use chemical weapons against Ukraine should the resistance prove too much for the Russian troops to handle.
“This is something we are very focused on,” said Blinken.
Liubov Georges can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org