Tatneft to Maintain Oil Output as National Production May Drop

OAO Tatneft, the Russian oil producer controlled by the Tatarstan regional government, plans to maintain crude output in 2009 after the energy minister said national production may fall for the second straight year.

Output should be “no less than a base level of 25.4 million metric tons of oil”, the Almetyevsk-based company said in a statement posted on its Web site today.

Tatneft produced 25.8 million tons in 2008, including from its shares in other producers, according to statistics provided by the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK dispatch unit. Russia’s oil output fell 1.7 percent in 2008 for the first time in a decade and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said this month that production could drop an additional 20 million tons this year.

Tatneft produced 300,000 tons of oil from new projects in the Samara, Orenburg, Ulyanovsk and Kalmykia regions in 2008, according to the statement. Output from these projects, located outside the company’s traditional zone of operation, will remain at more or less the same level this year, Vladlen Voskoboinikov, a company spokesman, said by telephone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow sbierman1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Guy Collins at guycollins@bloomberg.net.

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