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Russia plans to increase crude oil exports

Russia expects to increase its crude oil exports by around 400,000,500,500 bpd to more than 5.6 million bpd over five years, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an article in the Russian language magazine Energy Policy.

Russia will not only retain its position in the global energy markets, but expects to be able to increase its exports of crude oil by up to 500,000 bpd, equivalent to 25 million tonnes as written by the minister. Russia's total crude oil exports in five years could grow to 280 million tonnes, or 5.62 million barrels per day, according to Novak.

Russia's crude oil exports rose 2.9 percent year-on-year, to 260 million tonnes, or 5.22 million bpd, according to the TASS News Agency.

Russia exports much of its crude oil production, mainly to Europe, although China has emerged as a major buyer of Russian crude oil in recent years as Beijing's oil demand continues to grow. China is the largest buyer of Russian oil outside Europe, while Russia became China's largest supplier of crude oil in 201[ads1]6, surpassing Saudi Arabia for the first time on an annual basis, EIA estimates show.

For two years after 2016, Russia was the largest supplier of crude oil to China, but Saudi Arabia has recently regained its number one supplier status to China. In September, Saudi Arabia held its number one supplier, ahead of Russia and Iraq.

Related: Could Aramco IPO Kill OPEC?

Russia's plans to increase oil exports put it back in direct competition in the most sought-after oil demand market with Saudi Arabia – Moscow's main ally in the OPEC + production pact, which cuts production, hoping to erase global over-supply and increase oil prices.

The OPEC + partners – led by Saudi Arabia and Russia for OPEC and non-OPEC respectively – are set to discuss the fate of the production cuts and the future of their collaboration at a meeting in early December.

The Saudis will eventually push into the meeting incompatible cartel members to fall in line with their quotas, rather than aggressively pushing for a deeper overall cut. Russia is still under no obligation, as it has been ahead of all such meetings before agreeing to implement the agreement.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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