further bullish supply reports on oil

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    MOSCOW, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Russian oil exports with transit
    volumes from neighbouring Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan fell 220,000
    barrels per day (bpd) to 2.98 million bpd in December after
    severe storms hit its main ports, an energy ministry source
    The world's second-largest oil exporter was forced in
    December to curb its unprecedented output growth as a result of
    limited export capacities. Oil production fell to 7.95 million
    bpd from 8.0 million bpd in November.
    However, oil output in all of 2002 hit a 10-year high of
    7.62 million bpd, up from 7.0 million bpd in 2001, while oil
    exports through the state-owned Transneft pipeline system
    reached an all-time high of 3.14 million bpd compared with 3.01
    million bpd in 2001.
    Oil traders said Russia's main Black Sea export outlet of
    Novorossiisk was largely responsible for the export drop in
    December. It was shut for 19 days due to storms and loaded only
    720,000 bpd instead of a scheduled 925,000 bpd.
    Traders said they expected export volumes to remain
    traditionally weak in January and February of 2003 and added
    that the threat of a domestic oil glut would keep pushing oil
    firms to curb output.
    "I don't expect oil production to slide significantly but
    cutting the output by 50,000 bpd in December is already a major
    setback for Russian oil majors, which are planning on
    double-digit output growth this year", said a senior
    Moscow-based Western oil trader.
    December export levels of 2.98 million bpd include transit
    volumes, mainly from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which declined
    to 366,000 bpd from 393,000 bpd in November.
    Russian-only crude exports via the state pipeline monopoly
    Transneft stood at 2.52 million bpd in December, down from 2.70
    million in November.
    Deliveries bypassing Transneft, mostly by rail and small
    ports, also fell to 95,000 bpd from 103,000 bpd.
    Traders estimate volume leaving the country by rail and
    small ports at 600,000 bpd and put real volume of crude oil
    exported from and via Russia at above 4.0 million bpd.

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