Russian Oil Output Climbed to Post-Soviet Record Last Month

Russia, the world’s largest oil
producer, said output rose 1.3 percent in February from a year
earlier, topping January’s post-Soviet record.

Output advanced to 10.36 million barrels a day from 10.22
million barrels a day a year earlier, according to preliminary
data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. Russia pumped
10.35 million barrels a day in January.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the front-runner in
presidential elections due March 4, has called for output of
more than 10 million barrels a day for at least the next decade
and lowered the tax rate on crude exports to spur production.

Liquids output at OAO Gazprom (GAZP) gained the most among crude
producers, rising 3.7 percent from January to 320,000 barrels a
day, the data show. Output from production-sharing agreements
that include foreign companies Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Royal Dutch
Shell Plc (RDSA)
and Total SA increased 3.1 percent.

Average daily production passed Putin’s target level in
2009 for the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed in
1991, and reached 10.35 million barrels a day in October last
year. Soviet-era output peaked at 11.48 million barrels a day in
1987, according to BP Plc (BP/) data.

Russian natural-gas production, led by export monopoly
Gazprom, rose to 2.08 billion cubic meters a day in February
from 2.05 billion cubic meters a day a year earlier.

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