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Russian Crude Oil Output Climbs to Post-Soviet Record in January

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Russian oil production rose 0.4 percent in January from the previous month, setting a post-Soviet record.

Output from the world’s largest oil producer climbed to 10.36 million barrels a day last month from 10.32 million barrels a day in December, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. That was a 1.4 percent increase from 10.21 million barrels a day in January 2011.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who will seek re-election as president in March, has called for Russia to pump more than 10 million barrels a day for at least the next decade, and lowered the tax rate on crude exports to encourage output. Oil taxes are the biggest contributor to the national budget.

Average production passed Putin’s target level in 2009 for the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, reaching 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 data.

Exports rose to 5.29 million barrels a day in January, an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous month and 2.3 percent from January 2011.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net.

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