Russian oil producers may be capable of increasing production by as much as 600,000 b/d within the next nine to 18 months if the country's agreements with OPEC and its partners allow, according to analysts.
The Energy Information ADMInistration defines spare capacity as the volume of crude that can come on stream within 30 days and be sustained for at least 90 days.
Following the decision in June by OPEC and its oil producing partners to boost output by 1 million b/d from levels in May, Russia has pledged to add an additional 200,000 b/d to the market. The return of Russian barrels is a key factor currently weighing on markets.
"I think it is realistic to boost output by up to 600,000 b/d within the first half of 2019 -- but Russian companies will need to drastically intensify drilling to do so," said Mikhail Sheybe, an analyst from Sberbank CIB.
In June, Russia boosted its output by 89,400 b/d to 11.063 million b/d, as oil producers carried out tests to assess how quickly output could be increased.