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Russia Holds Oil Output at Record in June, Gas Production Drops

Russian crude oil production held at 10.13 million barrels a day in June, a post-Soviet record that matches the revised figure for May, the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit said in an e-mailed statement today.

Production increased 2.4 percent from June last year, according to the preliminary data. Exports dropped 4.1 percent from last month and 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

OAO Bashneft, based in Bashkortostan, led the monthly growth, raising output by 1.6 percent to 280,000 barrels a day. Production gained 20 percent on the year since billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov agreed to buy the producer last year.

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, pumped 2.26 million barrels a day, up 0.2 percent from last month and down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

“It is difficult to gauge the trend by one month, but so far we can say that Russia’s oil output is flat at plateau,” Alexander Bespalov, an oil analyst with Moscow-based Alfa Bank, said by phone today. “Most likely output will be flat this year and will afterward depend on greenfield development.”

Natural-gas output dropped 10 percent from May to 1.49 billion cubic meters a day in line with seasonal trends and after OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, said demand in southern Europe dropped.

Compared with June 2009, when demand was hit by the global economic crisis, production rose 22 percent.

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, has curtailed production and exports since early May because of a slump in demand from southern and southeastern Europe and may miss output target for this year, Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said June 18. Europe, which relies on Russian gas for about a quarter of its needs, is the company’s biggest market in terms of revenue.

Gazprom produced 1.12 billion cubic meters of day in June, a decline of 13 percent from May. That is a 20 percent gain from June 2009.

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