* Russian oil production to decline to 9.7 million bpd by
* Gas deal with China expected, with gas export seen at 330
By Vladimir Soldatkin and Nastassia Astrasheuskaya
MOSCOW, Nov 9 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
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.
"Russian fiscal policy is a key determinant of when and how
quickly Russian production will decline. Current terms limit the
incentive to invest when prices rise; our projections assume
sympathetic evolution of taxation," the IEA said.
GAS TO CHINA
By 2035, Russia will still be the world's largest gas
producer and natural gas exports should more than double to 330
billion cubic metres (bcm) due to new deliveries to China.
Russia aims to start gas export to China by 2016 of as much
as 68 bcm per year, equal to nearly half of Europe's intake.
But Gazprom officials have conceded that an agreement on
Chinese supplies will not be concluded this year, implying a
delay to the planned start to deliveries.
Analysts say Russia has a capacity reserve in the form of
energy efficiency improvements, which are taking place as the
hydrocarbon dependent country tries to diversify away from
But the IEA said Russia needs to pick up the pace of change.
"If Russia increased its energy efficiency in each sector to
the levels of comparable (developed) countries, it could save
almost 1/3 of its annual primary energy use, an amount similar
to the energy used in one year by the United Kingdom," it said.
"Faster implementation of efficiency improvements and energy
market reforms would accelerate the modernisation of the Russian
economy and thereby loosen its dependency on movements in
international commodity prices."
Energy efficiency in Russia, although improved in recent
years, remains low due to poor infrastructure and harsh climate.
Total energy demand in Russia is projected to rise 28
percent by 2035 to 830 million tonnes of oil equivalent at a
1-percent average annual rate, with transportation growing the
fastest, followed by industry and power sectors.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Anthony Barker)