Russia to decide on oil output hike by Exxon-led project by April end
A decision on Russian ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 project to raise oil output is expected by the end of April
A decision on whether to allow the Russian ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 project to raise oil output is expected by the end of April, a spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources said on Friday.
"The experts are working on the case ... A decision will be taken by the end of April," he told Reuters.
ExxonNeftegaz, ExxonMobil's subsidiary in Russia, did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.
The Sakhalin-1 oil project, off Russia's Pacific coast, has ditched plans to raise output to 250,000-260,000 barrels per day (bpd) after it was ordered by the authorities to return to previous lower production limits of 200,000 bpd. This led to lower loadings of Sokol crude oil in January-March.
An output rise would have jeopardized Russia's commitments under the global oil deal to curb production by the end of 2018.
"Exxon has revised downloading plans for April-June, so it looks the company doesn't see bigger quota being approved soon," a source on the Sokol market said.
Sokol loading plans from De-Kastri terminal for April-June were revised down by ExxonMobil in mid-March, three trading sources said, citing the loading schedule.
Sokol loading plans for April and May were initially planned at 12 and 11 cargoes but were cut to 10 and 9 cargoes respectively. Sokol loadings in June were reduced to 9 cargoes from 12 in the initial loading plan, traders said.
Sakhalin-1 operates under a Production Sharing Agreement struck in the mid-1990s and all plans must be approved by the local government.
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