Oil Exports Lowered for 2nd Month

Russia will export very low volumes of oil via sea ports in September for the second month in a row as high export duties coupled with falling global oil prices prompt firms to refine more at home.

A preliminary export schedule by pipeline monopoly Transneft showed Monday that exports via six main ports would amount to 2.67 million barrels per day, virtually unchanged from 2.66 million bpd in August, which was the lowest level in 2008.

Government crude oil export duties, which change every two months based on global price fluctuations in preceding months, have made shipments very volatile in the past year.

Oil firms rush to export more when prices rise above the levels at which duties have been set and try to limit shipments and refine more at home when global prices start to decline. The trend has a domino effect on Russia's market.