FILE: Oil drums containing lubricant oil sit on a conveyor belt as they are prepared for shipping at the Royal Dutch Shell Plc lubricants blending plant in Torzhok, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. All eyes are on this weekend’s G-20 summit in Argentina, where Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman are likely to discuss how to coordinate oil policy. The nations are in talks over the timing of any reduction in supply, Reuters reported Thursday, a week before producers are due to meet in Vienna to discuss the market and a possible cut in 2019. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Russia produced 11.369 million barrels a day of crude and condensate last month, a 0.42 per cent decline from October. Bloomberg

Russia's oil output dips in November ahead of Opec+ meeting

Russia’s oil production fell ahead of a crucial meeting with OPEC this week to decide supply strategy as prices slump.

Russia produced 11.369 million barrels a day of crude and condensate last month, a 0.42 per cent decline from October, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. That was the first monthly decline in the nation’s oil output since the beginning of the year.

With Brent plunging more than 30 per cent since early October, Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on Saturday to coordinate their actions in the oil market next year, extending the so-called OPEC+ agreement. While the decision opens the door for a deal at the meeting Russia and Opec are holding in Vienna this week, its details, including the size of any potential output cut, are still unclear.


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Russia pumping at lower levels is not necessarily a signal that its producers are returning to output cuts before the Vienna meeting has made any decision. Instead, seasonality and factors at individual fields may be responsible, analysts said.

“This does not look like an intentional cut at all,” said Maksim Nechaev, director for Russia at IHS Markit. “In current market conditions, the companies aim to pump as much as they can to support their revenue flow.”

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas giant Gazprom, and Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, drove the decline in output last month, according to CDU-TEK data. Gazprom Neft decreased its production by 4.71 per cent on the October level, while Lukoil’s drop reached 0.91 per cent.

Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, pumped slightly more than in October at its key projects, excluding joint ventures and the Bashneft unit. Rosneft’s East Siberian greenfields and the Soviet-era Samotlor were the main output-growth sources for the company. Russia offers tax breaks for these fields, which could give Rosneft an extra incentive to raise production there.

Russia aims to keep its oil output near average October levels until the year-end, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Tass news agency last week. This may imply that a slight production growth is possible this month even amid a further Brent slump. Russian crude producers are resilient to the current price declines as the flexible ruble exchange rate and the tax system provide a natural hedge for their costs.


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Rating: 4/5

UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

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Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)


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In Praise of Zayed

A thousand grains of Sand whirl in the sky
To mark the journey of one passer-by
If then a Cavalcade disturbs the scene,
Shall such grains sing before they start to fly?

What man of Honour, and to Honour bred
Will fear to go wherever Truth has led?
For though a Thousand urge him to retreat
He'll laugh, until such counsellors have fled.

Stands always One, defiant and alone
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History will not forget: that one small Seed
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No praise from Roderic can increase his Fame.
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But Hearts are not rebuilt, nor Seed resown.
What was, remains, essentially Alone.
Until the Golden Messenger, all-wise,
Calls out: "Come now, my Friend!" - and All is known

- Roderic Fenwick Owen

New Zealand T20 squad

New Zealand T20 squad: Tim Southee (captain), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway (wicketkeeper), Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Ish Sodhi, Will Young 

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