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Russia's 2011 Volumes of Natural Gas Exports "beat All Records" - Gazprom

Gas FacilityGORKI, near Moscow. May 30 (Interfax) - Russia's 2011 natural gas exports total 25 billion cubic meters and "beat all records," the increase being "the result of the events in the Middle East, North Africa and Japan," the chief executive of Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) said on Saturday.

"In the first quarter exports increased by 12%, in April by 20% and in May by 30%," Alexei Miller said at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev congratulated Gazprom on finishing the technological phase of the construction of one of the strands of the Nord Stream pipeline. "I was present at the start of this process when I was chairman of the board of directors (of Gazprom). You have carried it through quickly," he said.

Miller also briefed Medvedev on progress on the South Stream pipeline project and said German, French and Italian companies are collaborating with Gazprom under the project.

"It is a timely and much needed project," the Gazprom chief said.

Within Russia, gas consumption for the first half of 2011 showed an increase of 6.5 billion cubic meters year on year, he said.

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