Russia expects oil and gas revenue to bounce back in March

The country experienced a budget shortfall in February because oil and gas revenues did not meet expectations.

By Daniel J. Graeber

March 3 (UPI) -- After a budget shortfall in February, Russia's finance minister said the country expected to receive more than $1 billion in oil and natural gas revenue this month.

The Russian government said Friday it expected a $1.5 billion windfall in March, after revenues from oil and gas fell short of forecasts for February.


"The deviation of actual oil and gas revenue received by the end of February 2017... from estimates a month earlier was [minus] $365 million," a ministry report states.

Russia derives a sizable portion of its revenue from oil and natural gas and is a main energy supplier to European and Asian economies. One day after members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to their first managed declines in more than a decade, the Russian government in November said it expected gross domestic product to grow by 0.2 percent this year and 0.9 percent in 2018.

The International Monetary Fund was somewhat more optimistic for 2017 growth and the Finance Ministry earlier this year said it expected the price of oil to oscillate between $40 per barrel and $60 per barrel over the next two years, in line with budget and growth estimates.


Russia is party to the OPEC agreement as a non-member contributor. Russia maintains an official line of compliance with the deal, though oil production in 2016 was at or near post-Soviet highs. Actual compliance from Russia has been relatively fluid as it has many players in the oil game.

The broker PVM said early this week that Russia is lagging behind its oil-producing peers in terms of toeing the line on production declines. Total Russian oil production for February was reported at 11.1 million barrels, relatively unchanged from the previous month.

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