Russia has promised oil-flow tracking companies and price reporting agencies to provide data about its production, inventories, and fuel output after OPEC+ asked Moscow for more transparency in tracking its compliance with the cuts, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources at OPEC+ and ship-tracking consultancies.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has classified its oil production and export data, saying it would not provide detailed information about its oil sector which could be used by the West to track down and clamp down on Russia’s oil exports, or oil revenues.
During a recent call with six oil-flow tracking companies and price reporting agencies – Argus Media, Energy Intelligence, S&P Global Platts, Rystad, Kpler, and Wood Mackenzie – Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin offered to provide more information about Moscow’s oil production and exports, according to Reuters’ sources.
These six companies have been tasked by OPEC+ to work with Russia for more transparent data to assess compliance.
“Sorokin was trying to persuade the trackers that Russia fully complied with the deal,” one of the sources told Reuters.
Russia has always been evasive about its compliance with the OPEC+ agreement, even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But after the start of the war, even the little transparency was removed and the market has been largely relying on guesstimates and ship-tracking to assess Russian supply.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in October that Russia’s commitment to reduce its oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) includes oil products, in remarks that sowed further confusion about how much oil supply Russia is really withholding from the market.
Russia has pledged to reduce its oil exports by 300,000 bpd until the end of 2023, in a show of solidarity with its OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia, which is voluntarily reducing its oil production by 1 million bpd until 2023.
At last week’s OPEC+ meeting, Russia said it would deepen the export cut to 500,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2024, with May and June of 2023 being the reference export levels for the cut, which will consist of 300,000 bpd of crude and 200,000 bpd of refined products.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com