Oil processing in Russia has surged in the past week, reaching levels close to the highest daily refining runs in over eight months, according to sources reported by Bloomberg on Monday.

Russia’s refineries processed approximately 5.65 million barrels of crude per day from December 14 to 20, marking a slight decrease of around 50,000 barrels per day compared to the previous seven days, which saw the highest daily refinery runs since early April.

As per calculations made by Bloomberg, Russia refined 5.57 million barrels of crude oil on average every day during the first 20 days of December, marking significant increase of nearly 60,000 barrels per day over the majority of November.

DESPITE HURDLES

Despite a brief pause in shipments from the Baltic Port of Primorsk, tanker-tracking data reveals that Russia’s daily overseas crude supplies in the global market decreased to 3.18 million barrels per day in the week ending December 17.

Although, Bloomberg notes that the less volatile four-week average increased by 80,000 barrels per day.

Russia has been deligently diversifying its energy supplies countering Western sanctions, particularly after the European Union ceased accepting the country’s oil transported by sea. In February, Moscow committed to a voluntary reduction of oil production by 500,000 barrels per day starting from March, a move triggered by sanctions. Additionally, Russia halted sales to buyers adhering to a Western-imposed price cap of $60 per barrel.

As part of its collaboration with OPEC+ allies, Moscow agreed to reduce combined crude and petroleum exports by 300,000 barrels per day for the remainder of the year. Further, plans are in place to deepen these curbs by an additional 200,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting the ongoing adjustments in response to market dynamics and geopolitical challenges.

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