Saudi Arabia to overtake Russia as top oil producer?
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Nov 09, 5:40 pm
MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia will overtake Russia as the world’s largest crude oil producer in about 2015 as output at new Russian fields fails to offset fast decline at mature deposits, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.
In its World Energy Outlook the IEA also said Russia would eventually start to supply natural gas to China, becoming a major source of the fuel despite gas export monopoly Gazprom’s failure so far to secure a supply deal after five years of talks.
Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the top producer of oil when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut crude output during the economic crisis in 2009.
But while Russia’s output will plateau at 10.5 million barrels per day, Saudi Arabia’s will rise to match Russia’s in roughly 2015, and hit 14 million bpd by 2035.
Until the end of last year, OPEC members agreed a series of targets for their own production in an effort to stabilise the world oil market. However, these production limits have largely been abandoned this year since Libyan output was interrupted.
Russia will see output fall to 9.7 million barrels per day by that date, provided it implements new stimulus measures for upstream production, the IEA said.
The government forecasts steady output of roughly 10 million barrels per day until 2020. IEA figures are likely to be higher due to a difference in the basis for its calculations.
Russia where production peaked at 11.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in 1988 under Soviet rule — has driven output to post-Soviet highs above 10 million barrels per day by bringing new fields on stream but these will not prevent decline from setting in later this decade.