George Soros has attributed Putin’s reluctance to use more force in Ukraine to a non-existent decline in Russian oil output. Russia’s average daily crude production in September 2015 was slightly higher than the May and June averages, setting a post-Soviet record.
It should not have come as a surprise. Daily totals for the whole of Russia are published (but not archived) free of charge. For instance, the Oct. 4 rate was 10.74 million barrels per day, close to the September average. Anyone can keep track of the daily readings so monthly totals would come as no surprise to one. If one has the funding, one can subscribe to the energy ministry’s daily data feed.
Inadequate reinvestment should depress output eventually, but it’s not yet clear how much is “adequate” and how soon is “eventually.”