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Russian Oil Output Hits Post-Soviet Record in 2010

Oil Pump in Russian OilfieldJan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world's largest oil producer, set a post-Soviet record for yearly crude output in 2010, even as the country's production in December slipped from the previous month.

Output in December fell 0.6 percent to 10.18 million barrels a day compared with 10.24 million barrels a day in the previous month, according to the statistics. By comparison, Saudi Arabia produced 8.25 million barrels a day in December.

OAO Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, began pumping in August from the Siberian Vankor deposit, the country's largest new project. Rosneft's Vankor unit produced over 255,000 barrels a day in December, the ministry's statistics unit said. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Oct. 28 in the central city of Samara that Russia can produce 10 million barrels a day for at least a decade.

In the Soviet-era, Russian crude output peaked in 1987 at 11.48 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc data.

The country's annual production of natural gas grew by 12 percent to 650.3 billion cubic meters last year against 582 billion cubic meters in 2009, the statistics unit said. Russia holds the world's biggest gas reserves and is a major supplier of the fuel to Europe.

Russian gas output increased in December to an average of 2.03 billion cubic meters a day from 2.02 billion cubic meters a day the same month a year ago, according to the statistics. Because gas output in Russia is seasonal and can vary widely throughout a year, 12-month comparisons are more meaningful than those made from one month to the next.

OAO Gazprom, Russia's gas exporter, produced 1.60 billion cubic meters a day in December compared with 1.63 billion cubic meters a day a year ago, for a year-on-year decrease of 1.9 percent. Gazprom produced 508 billion cubic meters of the fuel in 2010, up 10 percent from the previous year, as demand picked up after the global financial crisis.


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