Russia expected oil production to return to its normal levels before the Coronavirus pandemic in the second quarter of 2022.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that an increase in oil and gas condensate production in Russia is expected in 2022 and 2023.
Novak confirmed that Russian oil production will return to pre-pandemic levels in April and next May.
Novak said in statements to a magazine affiliated with the Russian Energy Ministry that Russian oil production is expected to reach 540-560 million tons (10.8-11.2 million barrels per day) next year and to 542-562 million tons in 2023.
He expects production to reach 524 million tons this year.
Oil prices fell on Friday, amid limited trading during the Christmas holidays after rising for three days. But crude is still heading towards recording weekly gains, while the market focuses on the next steps of the OPEC+ group and the impact of the mutant Omicron.
Brent crude futures fell more than 1% below $76 a barrel, after gaining 2.1% in the previous session. Crude is still on track to record a weekly increase of about 4%.
In a related context, oil prices achieved 4% gains during the past week, at a time when the market is focusing on the next steps of the OPEC+ group and the impact of the mutant Omicron.
By 0741 GMT, Brent crude futures fell 41 cents, or 0.5%, to $76.44 a barrel, after rising 2.1% in the previous session.
Oil prices rose from the easing of investor fears regarding Omicron, which worries the world.
OPEC+ will meet on the January 4.
The organization is likely to maintain its decision to increase oil supply by 400,000 barrels per day at its next meeting, as long as oil prices remain above $70 a barrel, said Chiyuki Chen, chief analyst at Sunward Trading. But some investors remained cautious due to the increase in infections with the omicron.
“But investors remained cautious amid surging infection cases,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
Coronavirus infections increased significantly in the areas of the mutated spread, which prompted many countries to impose new restrictions, including Italy and Greece, while monitoring a record number of new infections.