Russian crude oil and product exports rose in September by as much as 460,000 barrels per day, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated on Thursday, despite Western sanctions and Moscow’s pledge to cut output in tandem with OPEC.

Moscow’s total exports of crude oil and products in September rose by 460,000 bpd from August to 7.6 million bpd, with crude accounting for 250,000 bpd of the increase, according to the IEA.

In addition to agreeing to cut its oil production by 500,000 bpd until the end of 2024, Russia had said it would voluntarily cut exports by 500,000 barrels per day, or around 5% of its output, in August and by 300,000 bpd in September.

That 300,000 bpd cut was latterly extended till the end of the year.

The jump in exports highlights the difficulty the West has faced in trying to reduce Russian exports and revenue to Moscow amid its war with Ukraine.

Last year, the IEA predicted harsh Western sanctions would lead to a collapse in Russian energy exports.

Production of oil, including liquids and condensates, in Russia over the last three months – July, August and September – has stayed relatively steady at 10.79 million bpd, 10.78 million bpd and 10.81 million bpd respectively, IEA estimates showed.

Specifically, Russia’s crude oil production persisted in the range of 9.47 million bpd to 9.48 million bpd over the same period.

Russia and OPEC often clash with the IEA over oil market assessments.

Separately on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak suggested Russia’s pledges to the OPEC+ group to cut its oil exports included a reduction in oil products, news agencies reported, stoking confusion over Russia’s plans to cut oil supplies.

In Russia’s original announcement, Novak had alluded to crude oil and did not specifically mention products.

Russia announced on Sept. 21 a ban on fuel exports to tackle domestic shortages and high prices, but it lifted the ban for most oil products last week.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said OPEC+ coordination would continue in order to ensure predictability on the oil market, and signalled that a deal to constrain the supply to global markets was here to stay.

Source: Reuters reported by Natalie Grover in London edited by Jan Harvey