Russia has recorded the highest level of oil exports and the amount of oil stored at sea in recent years: despite the announcement that production will be cut by 500,000 barrels per day, the ‘pipes’ are pumping out more oil than expected.
Data on exports and floating oil undermined forecasts made by international and energy agencies on crude oil supplies – with the main forecast pointing to oil shortages due to sanctions and cuts in Russia. Currently, the Russian ‘parallel fleet’ consists of around 600 ships, which are highly effective in circumventing Western maritime sanctions, Spanish newspaper ‘El Economista’ revealed this Wednesday.
Russian ships have more than 125 million barrels of oil at sea, most of which are currently in transit and the rest are used as depots. Quoting Winston Churchill, experts reveal, “It is an enigma wrapped in a mystery within an enigma.” “Russian manipulations in the oil market, after the West imposed economic sanctions, certainly confirm this definition,” they pointed out.
Almost overnight, Russia became the leading country in the transportation of oil and refined products. The point is that on the supply side of the oil market, this greatly complicates analysis and forecasting: “Russian actions will disrupt supply, transport and oil in stocks”, the ‘PCA Research’ analysts underline.
As Russia faces expected problems selling its oil, the Kremlin hit a new high in crude oil exports, and a May report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicated, “In April, exports hit a new post-pandemic high of 8.3 million barrels per day.” Russia may increase its volume to compensate,” the company noted.
However, the chaos is not only on the supply side: China has begun restricting access to companies that collect information and data for economic evaluations, as required. In energy markets, oil stock levels are already considered state secrets. “These factors add to the uncertainty of oil data such as production, consumption, trade and stocks, and risk that should be taken into account in investment and trading decisions,” concluded economists from ‘PCA Research’.
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