Could Vene hard default after the Presidential elections on 20th May?
Oil production is around 1.5mmbpd and forecast to go to 1.1mmbpd later this year and lower in 2019
But they use 425k bpd domestically and pay JV partners including China and Russia 550k bpd.
So at 1.1mmbpd production there is basically nothing to pay for imports, bonds or increased maintenance capex
Something has to give and with the potential for more sanctions, blaming a hard default on sancitons is a way to keep going
Having moved the military into manage oil production could also be a sign they are preparing to hard default; they want to keep control, maximise graft and manage the hard default scrario vs creditors
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