Preliminary data for November from the Energy Ministry pegged Russian oil production at yet another post-Soviet era high of 10.50 mb/d, higher y/y by 0.15 mb/d (see Figure 3). Rosneft's production continued to grow y/y, higher y/y by 0.08 mb/d last month, and by 0.05 mb/d in the year to November. TNK-BP's output, however declined by 0.04 mb/d, the fourth successive month of declines, although production growth in the year-to-date remains flat.
Despite the pick-up in Russian production, both m/m and y/y, Russia's exports fell sharply in November. Russian exports through Transneft fell by 5.5% m/m and 8.2% y/y to 3.75 mb/d, although exports via other means, e.g. rail, picked up slightly to 0.5 mb/d. Russian exports have faltered over the past few months, despite a pick-up in output. Even preliminary schedules for December show a fall in Urals exports to Europe in the first half of the month, aggravated by pipeline maintenance. Compared to the year-to-date production increase of 0.11 mb/d, crude exports are higher y/y by just 0.05 mb/d, as robust domestic demand continues to curtail exports. The completion of the ESPO pipeline is set to divert more crude to Asia, with December loading schedules showing a m/m increase of 0.05 mb/d to 0.45 mb/d. As a result, we continue to see lower availabilities of Urals grades for the Mediterranean.
On the demand front, despite heavy refinery maintenance, October refinery runs remained above 5 mb/d at 5.093 mb/d, higher y/y by 0.07 mb/d, following two consecutive months in which runs were higher y/y by an average 0.23 mb/d (see Figure 18). Kazakhstan's liquids output continued to recover in October, following the completion of the six-week long maintenance at the Tengiz field, which had kept output lower y/y by 0.19 mb/d in August and 0.04 mb/d in September. As a result, production was flat y/y in October, at 1.64 mb/d (see Figures 1, 7 and 8). Azerbaijan's crude oil production remained weak, a trend which started in early 2011. Output fell y/y by 0.06 mb/d in October, its 19th straight month of decline, to below 0.8 mb/d for the first time since December 2011 (see Figures 9 and 10).
Mirroring the trend in Russia, total FSU crude exports have also been low this year, and in October, fell close to their lowest levels since November 2008, down y/y by 0.39 mb/d at 5.92 mb/d (see Figure 2). Meanwhile, product exports scaled new lows, down y/y by 0.19 mb/d, despite being relatively flat m/m at 2.54 mb/d, as refineries remained offline for maintenance (see Figures 2, 23 and 24). As we had anticipated, the decline in fuel oil and gasoil exports were particularly notable, lower y/y by 0.07 mb/d and 0.06 mb/d in October, whilst gasoline exports also fell y/y by 0.06 mb/d.