Russian oil growth ....
Russian oil growth beats boldest hopes, more to come
Thu November 14, 2002 07:28 AM ET
By Dmitry Zhdannikov
MOSCOW, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Russian oil output this year is set to
beat the most optimistic forecasts with growth-hungry producers
adding a million barrels per day (bpd), taking flows to more than
eight million bpd by year's end.
And analysts think Russia, the world's second largest oil exporter,
could easily add another two million bpd over the next few years and
overtake Saudi Arabia as top dog.
This year's astonishing monthly production data makes grim reading
for rival OPEC producers who late last year confronted Russia and
forced it, briefly, to cooperate with export cutbacks to support oil
"Two years ago nobody believed Russian oil output could grow so fast.
Today, even the most fantastic plans do not shock people anymore,"
said Russia's leading oil analyst Eugene Khartukov.
"The Russian oil sector can offer exposure to world-class oil
production growth for another decade, keeping pressure on OPEC," said
Brunswick UBS Warburg chief oil strategist Paul Collison.
Having outstripped Energy Ministry projections, analysts expect
production to hit eight million bpd in November for the first time in
a decade. Collison believes output could breach ten million bpd by
Worse still for OPEC, most of the extra output is expected to
translate into rising exports because Russia's domestic consumption
is thought likely to remain stagnant over the next five years.
Even adding production from the former Soviet territories of
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to Russian output, flows remain far below
peak Soviet levels of 1986-1988 of over 12 million bpd.
But exports of crude and products during Soviet times were suppressed
by the enormous needs of the Red Army and never exceeding 3.5 million