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Oil Updates – Crude Oil Prices Continue to Fall; Gazprom production reaches pre-COVID level

RIYADH – Oil prices fell further on Wednesday as investors worried about the global economy, the prospect of central banks raising interest rates and increasing restrictions to contain COVID-19 in China.

October Brent crude futures, which expire on Wednesday, fell $3.56 to $95.75 a barrel after losing $5.78 on Tuesday. The more active November contract fell $2.70, or 2.76 percent, to $95.14 a barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $2.58, or 2.82 percent, at $89.06 a barrel by 0939 GMT after falling $5.37 in the previous session on recession fears.

Shell’s Vito oilfield set to start production in early 2023: Equinor

Shell’s Vito deepwater oil field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico will start production in early 2023, partner Equinor said on Wednesday.

“It is in the early stages of installation with the intention of beginning first production in early 2023,” said Chris Golden, Equinor’s country manager in the US, at a news conference in Norway.

Equinor holds a 36.9 percent stake in Vito.

Gazprom Neft production returns to pre-pandemic levels

Gazprom Neft, Russia’s fastest-growing oil company in terms of production, has restored its production to pre-COVID levels, said Vadim Yakovlev, the company’s first deputy CEO.

He also said the company is ready to tackle restrictions on Russian oil coming from the West over what Moscow has dubbed a “military special operation” in Ukraine, which has forced Russian companies to seek new markets and cut supplies to Europe and restricted to the United States.

“As for the oil embargo, the restrictions that are being created, regulatory and logistical, do not have a direct impact on aggregate demand,” Yakovlev said.

“It leads to an overhaul of logistics routes as we venture into new markets,” he added.

He said such “ineffective” logistics are driving up delivery costs.

In 2021, Gazprom Neft produced around 101 million tons of hydrocarbons, including 62 million tons of crude oil.

The official declined to publicly release the latest production numbers and forecasts.

(With input from Reuters)

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