Lukoil To Increase Production in 2003

Lukoil has plans to increase output for 2003. In a statement after a meeting of its board, Lukoil set a production target of 80 million tons of crude for 2003, after production grew 2.2 percent to 78.2 million tons last year. The company is also planning to produce 5.7 billion cubic meters of gas this year, up from 5.1 billion in 2002. The company has set a capital expenditure target of approximately $2.4 billion for this year.

Leonid Mirzoyan, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in Moscow, said Lukoil's targets were as expected. "The company's strategy is deferred growth, major production projects will lead to strong growth in 2005 and thereafter," he said. Exports for the company rose 4.9 percent to 34.3 million tons in 2002 and that its resource replacement ratio was 2.5 times. Throughput at its refineries rose 9.2 percent to 41.5 million tons while gas throughput increased by 2.2 percent to 2.4 million tons. Petrochemical output rose 34 percent to 1.6 million tons.