Russian oil producer Rosneft’s annual profit surges to $14 billion

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia’s energy exports, seeking to starve the Kremlin of crucial oil and gas revenues after Moscow despatched its army to Ukraine in February 2022.

A U.S. threat to hit financial firms doing business with Russia with sanctions has chilled Turkish-Russian trade, for example, including slowing some payments for Russian oil, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Rosneft said its crude oil and gas condensate output totalled 193.6 million tonnes in 2023, without providing a comparison with 2022.

Total hydrocarbon production last year amounted to 269.8 million tonnes, it said, including 92.7 billion cubic metres of gas.

As a result of strict cost control and work to improve efficiency, the unit cost of hydrocarbon production at year-end 2023 decreased to $2.6/boe,” Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s powerful head, said in a statement.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 17.8% to 3.0 trillion roubles while revenue edged up 1.3% to 9.2 trillion roubles.

Capital expenditure in 2023 totalled 1.3 trillion roubles and adjusted free cash flow stood at 1.4 trillion roubles, the company said.

Sechin directed thinly-veiled criticism at the Russian central bank in a statement, having previously criticised the bank in late 2023 as successive rate hikes took the cost of borrowing to current levels of 16%.

“Due to rising interest rates from the second half of the year, the company focused its attention on reducing its overall debt burden,” said Sechin.

He said prepayment debt and net financial debt were collectively reduced by 0.7 trillion roubles, but said Rosneft’s interest expenses for the final quarter of 2023 were 1.5 times higher than the same period in 2022.

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“Interest expenses increased due to, among other things, increases in the Bank of Russia’s key rate and further increases of interest margins by banks, which resulted in the growth of banking sector profits in 2023 to record levels,” Sechin said.

The central bank held interest rates steady at a meeting on Friday after months of monetary tightening.

($1 = 92.3900 roubles)

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Alexander Marrow Editing by Andrew Osborn and Susan Fenton – Reuters

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