Oil rig in the ocean.

Russia Oil Data Transparency Commitment.

According to sources within OPEC+ and ship-tracking consultancies cited by Reuters on Thursday, Russia has assured oil-flow tracking firms and price reporting agencies that it will furnish detailed information on its production, inventories, and fuel output. This move comes after OPEC+ urged Moscow to provide clearer insights into its adherence to production cuts.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Russia had previously classified its oil production and export data, citing concerns that such information could be exploited by Western entities to monitor and impede its oil exports and revenues. However, during a recent discussion with six prominent oil-flow tracking companies and price reporting agencies—namely Argus Media, Energy Intelligence, S&P Global Platts, Rystad, Kpler, and Wood Mackenzie—Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin reportedly offered to share additional details regarding Moscow’s oil production and exports.

These six entities have been specifically designated by OPEC+ to collaborate with Russia in obtaining more transparent data to assess compliance. According to Reuters’ sources, Deputy Energy Minister Sorokin aimed to convince these tracking firms that Russia fully adhered to the OPEC+ agreement.

Russia’s transparency regarding its compliance with the OPEC+ deal has historically been limited, even preceding the invasion of Ukraine. However, with the onset of the conflict, Russia further reduced transparency, leading the market to rely largely on estimates and ship-tracking to gauge Russian oil supply.

In October, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak added confusion by stating that Russia’s commitment to reduce its oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) encompassed oil products. This declaration contributed to uncertainties surrounding the actual amount of oil supply Russia was withholding from the market.

As part of a demonstration of solidarity with OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia, Russia pledged to decrease its oil exports by 300,000 bpd until the end of 2023. At the recent OPEC+ meeting, Russia announced an intention to deepen the export cut to 500,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2024, with reference export levels based on May and June of 2023. The cut will comprise 300,000 bpd of crude and 200,000 bpd of refined products.

More Russia Oil Data Transparency is needed. Heating Oil News writer Christine Hills

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