3 Jan 2013

Russian oil output hits post-Soviet high

5:56 am on 3 January 2013

Oil output by Russia in 2012 hit a post-Soviet record high. However, natural gas production declined amid stalling European sales.

The energy ministry said on Wednesday oil and gas condensate production grew by 1.3% last year to reach 518.0 million tonnes or 10.4 million barrels per day.

Russia established its previous post-Soviet high in 2011 when output stood at 10.28 million barrels per day.

AAP reports its current rate outpaces that of Saudi Arabia and means Russia is the world's biggest oil producer.

But natural gas production fell by 2.3% to 655.0 billion cubic metres as its European sales shrivelled up.

Production for Gazprom was reported at 478.8 billion cubic metres - well off its 2011 figure of 513.1 billion cubic metres.

AAP said the drop reflects the reality that almost all of Gazprom's foreign sales are focused on European and post-Soviet countries which are experiencing some of the slowest growth rates in the world.