In 2015, Russia’s oil output amounted to a record 534.081 million metric tons, 40 percent higher than in 2014, according to media reports.
Russia’s oil exports to non-CIS countries increased by 10.6 percent and reached 220.267 million tons, sources said.
Rosneft remains the country’s largest oil company; it produced more than 189 million metric tons of oil last year. Coming on Rosneft’s heels are Lukoil and Surgutneftegas, with oil output standing at over 85 million metric tons and 61 million metric tons, respectively.
In late December, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak laid the drop in oil prices at Saudi Arabia’s feet. According to Novak, Saudi Arabia increased oil production by 1.5 million barrels per day in 2015.
At the end of 2015, world oil prices dropped to their 2008 level, and at the December 31 trading session crude was worth 37.61 dollars per barrel.
Russia Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, for his part, said that he does not believe oil prices will plummet to 25 dollars per barrel. At the same time, he added that the period of such low prices “cannot last too long.”
When hammered out, Russia’s budget for 2016 stipulated global oil prices would be about 50 dollars per barrel.
Saudi Arabia has raised domestic energy prices by as much as 40 percent after the world’s leading oil producer announced a record $98bn budget deficit on Monday citing rock-bottom global petroleum prices.
The budget deficit is the highest in the history of Saudi Arabia, but was not as big as some expected. The International Monetary Fund had projected a deficit of $130bn.
The kingdom has seen a sharp drop in revenues as oil prices have fallen more than 60 percent since mid-2014 to below $40 a barrel.
Public revenues are the lowest since 2009 when oil prices dived as a result of the global financial crisis. Saudi income for 2015 was 15 percent lower than projections and 42 percent less than in 2014.
In order to address the situation, the Gulf kingdom has set the price of 95 octane gasoline at 0.90 riyals ($0.24) per litre up from 0.60 riyals per litre – a hike of 40 percent. The price increase takes effect on Tuesday, the official SPA news agency said on its Twitter account.
The decision came hours after the ministry of finance said it will slash subsidies for electricity, water, diesel and kerosene over the next five years.
Revenues were estimated at $162bn – well below projections and 2014 income, while spending came in at $260bn, finance ministry officials announced at a press conference in the capital, Riyadh.
Stocks fell and oil prices took a tumble Monday as the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index kicked off the final week of the year by slipping back into the red in a volatile year that has made it tough for U.S. stocks to make much headway.
The S&P 500 ended down 4.5 points, or 0.2%, to 2056.50 as it dropped back below its 2014 close of 2058.90. The benchmark large-company stock index is down more than 3% from its May 21 all-time closing high of 2130.82. The S&P 500 has posted positive returns six straight years as it struggles to extend the streak to seven calendar years in a row.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 24 points, or 0.1% to 17,528.47 as it slipped further into negative territory for 2015. The Dow headed into Monday’s session down 1.5% for 2015 and is at risk for its first negative year since 2008. The Nasdaq composite index closed down 0.2% to 5040.99 but is still up about 6% for the year.
Energy stocks led the declines as the recent uptick in oil prices also faltered. U.S. benchmark crude fell 3.3% to $36.85 a barrel.
It has been a challenging year for U.S. stocks. Domestic equities have been hurt by questions regarding the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike in nearly a decade (the Fed raised rates a quarter-point in mid-December), plunging oil prices, the negative impact of a strong dollar on sales and earnings of U.S. multinationals and fears related to the slowdown in China’s economy, which is the world’s second-biggest.
European drivers are happy about the fact that prices for fuel are becoming lower but their joy won’t, however, last long, because on a global perspective the fall in oil prices will affect the region’s economy poorly, German newspaper Die Welt wrote.
For the first time, the cost of fuel fell below one euro per liter and the price is likely to decline further at an accelerated pace. Such a situation can be dangerous not only for countries producing oil, but also for economically sustainable European countries, such as Germany, the newspaper reported.
First, the most fragile states, such as Nigeria, Malaysia and Colombia, will be forced to drastically reduce public spending due to low oil prices, which may result in civil protests and riots. This, for its turn, may lead to the collapse of these states, which means that new refugees will head to Europe, the article noted.
Second, European countries are now largely focused on extracting shale oil, which in the present circumstances is extremely unprofitable. If the exploration of new wells stops, the whole shale industry may collapse, leading to a shock of the market and to a subsequent sharp jump in prices, the newspaper wrote.
The petroleum ministry wants the finance ministry to cut cess on domestic crude and make it ad valorem in view of the slump in global fuel rates, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today. An ad valorem rate of cess means higher payouts when prices are high and lower when rates fall. At present, state-owned ONGC and Oil India pay a cess of Rs 4,500 per tonne on crude oil they produce from their allotted fields on a nomination basis. Cairn has to pay the same cess for oil from the Rajasthan block. With oil prices dropping to an 11-year low of under $35 per barrel, the cess translates into a third of the earnings being paid in just one levy. “We have told the finance ministry that the cess pattern has to be changed to ad valorem from a fixed rate now. Make it formula-driven,” Pradhan told reporters here. The ministry wants cess to be levied at no more than 8 per cent of the price of crude realised.
The Oil Industry (Development) Act, 1974 provides for the collection of cess as an excise duty on indigenous crude. Cess incurred by producers is not recoverable from refineries and thus forms part of the cost of production of crude oil. The cess was levied at Rs 60 per tonne in July 1974 and subsequently revised from time to time. In 2005-06, when crude prices had increased from an average of $40 per barrel to $60, oil cess was raised from Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,500 per tonne from March 1, 2006. Again, when crude prices climbed to over $100, the rate of cess went up to Rs 4,500 ($12 per barrel) with effect from March 17, 2012.
Plummeting oil prices will cause cash flow for the global integrated oil & gas industry to contract by 20% or more for 2015, with only a modest recovery expected in 2016, say Moody’s Investors Service. This reflects the rating agency’s expectation of continued revenue declines and a negative free cash flow profile for the industry in 2015. Moody’s outlook for the global integrated oil and gas industry will remain negative into 2016.
Global crude oil prices have fallen by more than 50% since mid-2014, putting a major squeeze on the industry’s earnings. While companies like Shell, Total and BP have responded by cutting capital spending cuts and reducing costs, Moody’s still expects the industry to face a negative free cash flow position of nearly $80 billion in 2015, compared with $26 billion in 2014.
Moody’s report, entitled “Integrated Oil & Gas Industry — Global Negative Free Cash Flow Pressures Integrated Oil Credit Profiles” is available on www.moodys.com.
“We have revised our oil price outlook down several times since late 2014 and expect oil and gas prices to stay near recent low levels well into 2016, which will aggravate the industry’s negative free cash flow profile”, says Thomas Coleman, a Moody’s Senior Vice President and author of the report.
Moody’s expects the industry to further reduce capital spending despite cuts already taken, with sharper reductions likely to take place in 2016. Companies continue to re-phase, defer and cancel high cost projects as prospects dim for price recovery in 2016.
“Moscow can no longer give Ukraine gas discounts due to the current drop in oil prices,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. The price must be comparable to that for other European countries, like Poland, he added.
Kiev currently purchases gas from Russia with a $100-discount per 1,000 cubic meters, and also receives reverse gas flows from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.
In the second quarter of 2015, the final price for Russia’s gas deliveries to Ukraine has been set at $247.18 per 1,000 cubic meters.