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Russian oil output rises by 1pc this month, says media report

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Russian oil output rises by 1pc this month, says media report

Russian oil producers increased output by almost 1% in the first week of February from January, despite Western embargoes on Russian fuel, Kommersant daily reported on Thursday, citing anonymous data.

The newspaper said producers increased oil and gas condensate output by 0.7% in the first week of February from January’s average to 1.491 million tonnes (10.93 million barrels per day).

The figures align with those quoted by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who said on Wednesday that Russia’s daily crude oil production, excluding gas condensate, so far this month had been comparable with January’s 9.8 million to 9.9 million bpd.

The newspaper said Russian producers have increased oil exports and proposed deeper discounts for domestic oil prices to the international benchmark.

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Since the imposition of Western sanctions after Moscow nearly a year ago launched what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Russian producers have diverted supplies from Europe to Asia, mainly China and India.

The Rosneft-led Sakhalin-1 project has increased output the most, the newspaper said, without providing data.

Production at Sakhalin-1, previously around 200,000 bpd, collapsed following ExxonMobil’s withdrawal from the project in March.

Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin said earlier this week that the project has resumed oil output. 

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Oil inches up, all eyes on OPEC+ meeting

Oil inches up, all eyes on OPEC+ meeting

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Oil inches up, all eyes on OPEC+ meeting

Oil prices were little changed on Thursday as investors eagerly awaited the outcome of an anticipated OPEC+ meeting that could lead to deeper supply cuts in 2024.

Brent crude futures for January climbed 70 cents to $83.80 a barrel by 0935 GMT, on subdued volumes given the contract is meant to expire today. The more active February contract was up 58 cents at $83.46 a barrel.

Meanwhile, US West Texas Intermediate crude futures crept up 55 cents to $78.41 a barrel.

The OPEC+ group, which includes the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, is expected to hold virtual meetings on Thursday to discuss additional production cuts that could range between 1 million to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2024.

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The meeting, being held on the same day as global leaders gather in Dubai for the U.N. climate conference, was originally scheduled for last week but was deferred due to disagreements over output quotas for African producers.

Implementing additional cuts will send prices higher in the immediate future but long term, their impact will be “dubious”, said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

Compliance will be an issue, and the global oil balance is probably much less tight than OPEC estimates, he said, citing the latest commercial inventory data out of the United States and the stubbornly high-interest rates in many major economies that are likely to dampen oil demand.

The US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a surprise build in US crude oil stocks last week, with inventories up by 1.6 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 933,000-barrel drop.

But oil prices on Wednesday shrugged off the data with all eyes on the OPEC+ meeting, analysts said.

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Adding to the pessimism on the demand side are China’s persisting economic troubles, embodied in the latest factory data published on Thursday, which showed contraction for a second straight month in November. 

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216 illegal gas connections cut, Rs69m fine imposed on violators

216 illegal gas connections cut, Rs69m fine imposed on violators

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216 illegal gas connections cut, Rs69m fine imposed on violators

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) conducted raids in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad, resulting in the disconnection of 216 connections.

More than 287 under-billing cases were proceeded against and a substantial fine of Rs69 million was imposed.

In Lahore, the regional team disconnected 38 connections for illegal gas use, along with 14 connections using compressors. 

Multan witnessed the disconnection of four connections for illegal gas use, processing 109 under-billing cases, and levying a fine of Rs0.14 million against the under-billing.

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In Sheikhupura, 43 connections were disconnected for illegal use, five for compressor use, and 46 under-billing cases were processed, resulting in a fine of Rs4.52 million.

Peshawar and Karak reported 62 disconnections for direct and illegal gas use. Three FIRs were lodged against the gas pillagers.

Also Read: SNGPL disconnects 212 gas for gas theft

In Bahawalpur, 13 connections were disconnected while the crackdown was extended to Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Gujrat, and Sialkot.

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Inclusion of non-filers to tax net will reduce circular debt: Miftah

Inclusion of non-filers to tax net will reduce circular debt: Miftah

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Inclusion of non-filers to tax net will reduce circular debt: Miftah

 Former federal finance minister Miftah Ismail has stressed the need for including non-filers in the tax net to reduce the circular debts.

He expressed these views while talking to Dunya News programme “Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath”.

During the interview, the former FinMin expressed concerns over the soaring electricity prices, urging a reduction in distribution companies’ line losses to alleviate the burden on consumers.

He underscored the value of maintaining a positive relationship with the IMF.

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According to Ismail, the priority should be given to curbing inflation along with focusing on increasing GDP.

He lauded efforts made by Dr Shamshad Akhtar and her team in managing IMF affairs.

Ismail stressed the need for financial stability and relief for the citizens.

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