Russian authorities have announced that domestic oil production hit 11.36 million barrels per day (bpd), on average, in September ( Vedomosti , October 2). This marks a new historic peak, reached despite the often-cited poor shape of the Russian economy and negative impact of Western sanctions, not to mention the restrictions self-imposed on Moscow by the 2016 deal with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (see , March 8). Commenting on this fact, Vagit Alekperov, LukOIL’s CEO and principal shareholder, assumed the current output levels cannot be sustained, arguing that Russia has already reached the limit of its oil production capacity. On the other hand, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak strongly disagreed ( , October 3). Alekperov’s estimate should be considered with at least some degree of skepticism. First of all, such bearish assessments have been made—incorrectly—many times in the past. Back in 2005, then–deputy […]