Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Highs of Russian Production

Updating my spreadsheets of Russian production, I noticed that all four data sources I track agree that Russian production has had a bounce upwards in recent months. It has now reached an all-time high, at least for the post Soviet period. This is somewhat surprising. Even the moderate quantitative wing of the peak oil community has tended to think that Russian oil production was plateauing. You can see Sam Foucher's take and my analysis for examples. Roughly the argument is that Russian growth was mostly growth in production of existing soviet-era fields based on applying western technology to them (and just fixing things!) and that more and more rigs were producing less and less production increase, so it was unlikely the growth could go on much more.

Indeed from some time in 2007 on, production did seem to pretty much plateau until this spring. Then it started to leap up. Since the spring, Russia has grown about 400 thousand barrels/day. And since May (the trough in global production) it's contributed about 200kbd.

It's probably too soon to say that this is more than noise and is really an end to the 2007 plateau, but it's certainly an interesting trend to watch.

Update: the December OPEC MOMR has this to say:
Oil supply from Russia is expected to average 9.92 mb/d in 2009, an increase of 0.14 mb/d over the previous year, representing an upward revision of 25 tb/d from a month ago. The revision was introduced to adjust for actual production data that showed a further increase in production and created a new post-Soviet record. The revision came only to the fourth quarter supply estimate that is supported by the healthy production levels reported in October and November, as per preliminary data. Additionally, the export tax break, applicable to 13 fields and starting from December 2009, is encouraging producers to add more volume to take advantage of the tax break. The Vankor and Uvat fields were the main supporters of Russian oil production in 2009, and whether they will continue to offset the decline rate in other mature producing areas in the coming period with new fields, remains to be seen. On a quarterly basis, Russian oil supply is seen to average 9.78 mb/d, 9.88 mb/d, 9.97 mb/d and 10.05 mb/d respectively. Preliminary figures indicate that Russia oil production stood at 10.10 mb/d in November, higher than in the previous month.


Robert said...

An old articla on oil production from the FSU (Ex-USSR) from the late L. F, Buz Ivanhoe. http://hubbert.mines.edu/news/Ivanhoe_98-3.pdf

Robert Wilson

Seppo said...

Just a while ago there was some radio news about Medvedev demanding that Russian oil producers must start to use better tehcnology etc - otherwise the produced oil will start to go down. Did not have time to write this down but probably more exact reports will appear soon...