Gazprom, foreign projects boost Russia's Aug oil output
MOSCOW, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Higher oil and oil condensate production at Gazprom as well as projects led by foreign oil companies helped raise Russia's oil output in August, Energy Ministry data showed on Monday.
Oil output rose by almost 1 percent to an average of 10.52 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.43 million in July.
This was more than the 10.05 million bpd pumped by Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, which was its highest monthly output since records began in 1980.
In tonnes, Russia's crude production was 44.5 million.
Oil and natural gas output is an important component in Russia's commodity-oriented $2.1 trillion economy. Proceeds from sales of oil and gas account for over a half of the country's state coffer revenues.
Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to maintain oil output at least 10 million bpd during this decade. To achieve this goal, local companies are readying for extraction of hard-to-recover "tight oil", the production of which the state aims to promote through tax breaks.
Gazprom's output of gas condensate, which falls within the category of crude oil and can be turned into gasoline or diesel among other products, jumped by 10 percent last month to 1.4 million tonnes.
Oil output under production sharing agreements (PSA) designed to encourage investment by foreign oil companies rose by 11 percent in August to 1.18 million tonnes.
PSA projects include Sakhalin-1, which involves Rosneft, ExxonMobil, ONGC and Sodeco; Sakhalin-2 involving Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui, and Mitsubishi; and Kharyaga with Total, Statoil and Zarubezhneft.
The ministry did not provide a breakdown by project.
Crude exports via Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft fell to 16.257 million tonnes in August from 16.833 million in July.
Natural gas production edged up to 1.53 billion cubic metres per day.
Gazprom, the world's top natural gas producer, increased gas output by 2.4 percent, while gas production at Novatek fell by almost 4 percent.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Lidia Kelly and Jason Neely)
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