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Russia oil output hits post-Soviet high
January 9, 2013, 9:32 am

Oil wells in Siberia. [Getty Images]

Oil wells in Siberia. [Getty Images]

Over the course of 2012 Russia has experienced a growth in oil production reaching a record of 10.4 million barrels a day, leaving Saudi Arabia behind and becoming the world’s largest oil producer.

With crude output up 1.3 per cent year on year, 2012 figures are the highest in the post-Soviet period.

Ildar Davletshin, oil and gas analyst with Renaissance Capital told The BRICS Post that: “The new record high production is a mid-term success of Russian energy policy.”

Also suggesting that the drivers behind this are related to “fiscal changes and broader introduction of modern technologies”.

Rosneft giant pumped 117.473 million tons (2.5 per cent increase), Lukoil – 84.62 million tons (down by 0.8 per cent) and TNK-BP – 72.911 million tons (0.4 per cent increase).

Many experts attribute the surge to the development of new oil fields in Western Siberia.

“Russia provided necessary tax breaks for greenfield projects four years ago which led to the launch of large new fields including Vankor, Uvat and Talakan”, says Davletshin.

In 1988 the Soviet oil output peaked at 11.41 million barrels a day, but kept falling in the early 1990’s.

2009 oil output hit the then post-Soviet high of 9.925 million barrels a day.

In 2011 Russia hit another high and oil output amounted to 511 million tons or 10.28 million tons a day.

Production of gas is slipping and in 2012 fell by 2.9 per cent to 589 billion cubic meters.

Davlestshin says the positive trend of oil output should continue but broader changes are needed to maintain this level of output.

The Russian Ministry of Energy expects oil output to amount to 505-510 million tons a year by 2020.

Daria Chernyshova