Russia Crude Output Sets Monthly Record

Russia Crude Output Sets Monthly RecordRussia Crude Output Sets Monthly Record

Russia’s crude output set another post-Soviet record in December, a sign that the nation’s producers are withstanding the slump in oil prices, according to the country's energy ministry data.

Crude and gas condensate production increased to 10.825 million barrels a day last month, beating the previous record set in November by 0.4%, Bloomberg calculations based on the data show.

Output for the year increased 1.4% compared with 2014, exceeding 534 million tons, or almost 10.726 million barrels a day, according to the preliminary information emailed from the ministry.

Russian crude producers have been setting post-Soviet records even amid plunging prices and US and European Union sanctions that cut access to foreign financing and technology. The companies have managed to squeeze more crude out of some aging fields in West Siberia and brought a few midsized new projects on stream.

Russia’s crude export rose to 5.25 million barrels a day in 2015, according to the data, with supplies to countries outside the former Soviet Union jumping 11% to more than 4.42 million barrels.

"The Russian government, which relies on oil for about 40% of its budget revenue, does not expect a drop in production this year. Investments over the past few years have been supporting output in 2015 and will do so in 2016," Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Dec. 22.

"Still, production may decline next year if Russia has to increase the tax burden on the industry to narrow the budget gap given the plunging oil price."