Russian oil production is close to top pre-war levels and plans to increase it further by July, international media outlets cited Russian deputy prime minister as saying on Thursday.
'We are close to the output levels in February when we had been producing 10.2 million barrels per day (bpd),' Alexander Novak said, adding that Russia plans to expand its output further in July depending on companies’ plans.
Earlier this month, EU leaders agreed on the 6th sanctions package which calls for a 90 percent reduction in Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.
The plan also includes phasing out Russian crude oil supplies in six months and the supply of refined products by the end of the year.
The EU states agreed to ban seaborne oil transport, partially exempting pipeline oil as some member countries including Hungary opposed particularly to the oil import ban via the Druzhba pipeline which transports Russian oil to the refineries in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Russia, as one of the world’s largest oil exporters, meets about 8% of global demand, with the EU the largest recipient.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Russia exported an average of 7.5 million bpd of oil and oil products last year, out of which approximately 3.4 million bpd was destined for the EU, including 2.2 million bpd of crude oil and 1.2 million bpd of petroleum products.
This constitutes approximately 45% of Russia's total oil and petroleum products exports and 25% of the EU's total oil imports.
By Sibel Morrow