January 2, 2020 / 8:12 AM / 18 days ago

Russian oil, condensate output surges to record-high in 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian oil and gas condensate production hit a record-high 11.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, beating the previous record of 11.16 million bpd set a year earlier, Energy Ministry data showed on Thursday.

The figures show Russia continues to ramp up its oil and gas condensate production despite the impact of a tainted oil crisis earlier in the year which constrained output, as well as voluntary production cuts under a global deal to prop up prices.

The ministry did not separate out figures for crude oil production and gas condensate production, which was excluded from output reduction quotas under its deal with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Russian oil production has been rising for the past decade thanks to the startup of new fields and the introduction of new technologies at mature deposits.

In tonnes, Russian oil and gas condensate output rose to 560.2 million last year, up from 555.84 million in 2018, as small-sized oil producers cranked up their output.

According to the data, oil and gas condensate output at small producers jumped last year by almost 3% to 83.612 million tonnes, or 1.68 million bpd.

In December, total oil and gas condensate stood at 11.262 million bpd, up from 11.244 million bpd in November, according to the data. In tonnes, oil output reached 47.629 million last month versus 46.019 million in November.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak expects Russian oil and condensate production of between 555 million tonnes and 565 million tonnes in 2020, or 11.12-11.32 million bpd using a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per tonne of oil.

Novak has said that Russia reduced its oil output excluding gas condensate by 240,000 bpd in late December compared with levels in October 2018, the baseline for the global deal.

OPEC and its producer allies have been capping their collective output since 2017 and Novak on Friday said the OPEC+ nations might consider ending their oil output curbs in 2020.

In 2019, oil prices notched the biggest annual gain in three years, supported by a thaw in the prolonged U.S.-China trade war and ongoing supply cuts from major oil producers.

Russian oil pipeline exports in December stood at 4.286 million barrels per day, up from 4.147 million barrels per day in the previous month.

Russian natural gas production was at 67.21 billion cubic metres (bcm) last month, or 2.17 bcm a day, versus 64.04 bcm in November.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Richard Pullin

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