Russia Keeps Within Export Limits

No additional quotas for shipments of Russian crude oil were issued in January and exports were within limits agreed with OPEC as part of a deal to support prices, according to official sources.

Traders and officials said firms had actively lobbied for additional loadings in January, but state pipeline monopoly Transneft shipped only under a previously approved Q1 schedule.

"No additional schedules were issued this month. That shows that the government has control over the situation. The loading will be around one third of the original (reduced) Q1 schedule," an Energy Ministry source said. The actual figures for January are due next week.

The government set an export schedule for the first quarter to allow it to meet its commitment to OPEC to cut exports by five percent, or 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), from January. Under the first quarter schedule, Russia is to export 30.9 million tons (2.54 million bpd) of its own crude, 3.63 million tons of Kazakh crude and 725,000 tons of Azeri crude.