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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Exports to Europe Soar 28% in February

Crude oil supplies to Europe soared 28 percent in February from the year-ago period, an Energy Ministry source said Tuesday.

Exports outside the Commonwealth of Independent States rose to 15.46 million tons (3.9 million barrels per day), the source said, without giving year-ago figures. That figure includes transit shipments across Russia from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Exports solely from Russian producers rose 31 percent to 13.86 million tons last month, while transit shipments rose 7.4 percent to 1.6 million tons, he said.

Overall oil exports rose by a healthy 8 percent or 300,000 bpd in February as the world's second- largest oil exporter enjoyed better weather conditions in its key Black Sea ports.

Exports via the state pipeline monopoly Transneft rose to 3.86 million bpd from 3.56 million bpd in January and might increase further in March after Transneft finishes upgrading its flagship Baltic Sea port of Primorsk.

"Primorsk's capacity will reach 42 million tons a year [840,000 bpd] in March and might be expanded further to 50 million tons in the next few months," the source said.

Primorsk loaded 2.9 million tons (733,000 bpd) in February compared to 686,000 bpd in January.

Oil output, which has been rising over the last five years, slightly decreased in February to 8.89 million bpd from 8.94 million bpd in January, sources said, citing seasonal factors such as cold weather in Siberia as the main reason for the drop.

"I think the output could breach the psychologically important level of 9 million bpd after March, probably already in April," the source said.

(Reuters, Bloomberg)