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#5 - JRL 7065
Rosbalt
Russia Becomes World's Leading Oil Producer

February 17. Russia has become the world's largest producer of petroleum and has cemented its position as the world's leading petroleum exporter, according to Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov. Russian petroleum companies have considerably outstripped the world's leading petroleum companies in terms of growth rates. "In the last quarter of last year the volume of oil extracted in this country reached the level of eight million barrels a day," said Igor Yusufov. The minister gave a positive evaluation of the results of the development of the oil industry in 2002.

Yusufov related last year's important events, which created the preconditions for a substantial improvement in exports of Russian production to the European Union, to the decision taken by the European Union to grant Russia market economy status, and also to the beginning of work on developing the concept of a common economic space. Neftegaz.Ru

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