The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects Russian crude production to be curtailed by some 2 million bbl/d of oil by the end of the first quarter next year, its chief Fatih Birol told Reuters on Nov. 29.

The EU will ban Russian crude imports from Dec. 5 and Russian oil products from Feb. 5, depriving Russia of oil revenues and forcing one of the world's top oil producers and exporters to seek alternative markets. The EU is also debating a price cap on Russian seaborne oil for the provision of shipping and insurance.

Russia has lost Europe as its largest energy client “forever,” Birol told an energy conference on Nov. 29.

When asked about the impact of the EU measures, Birol said: “We expect towards the end of the first quarter 2023 that there may be a loss of 2 million barrels per day of Russian oil and there is a need to replace that oil.”

“But there are other factors in place, such as demand, which is very much of a function of a global economy, especially [the] Chinese economy, as well as the decisions that OPEC+ countries are going to have in a few days,” Birol said in an interview on the sidelines of an energy conference.

OPEC+, which includes members of OPEC and its allies led by Russia, will hold its next meeting in Vienna on Dec. 4.

Birol said he expected the members of the group to consider “the rather fragile situation of the global economy” in making decisions.

That is “including most of the clients whose economies may well slide into recession, but also those in the developing countries who suffer the most, but their voices are not heard very much,” he said.