Rosneft helps Russia's oil output to post-Soviet high

MOSCOW Fri Nov 2, 2012 3:36am EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Increased production by Rosneft helped to lift Russia's oil output by 0.5 percent in October to a post-Soviet high of 10.46 million barrels per day (bpd), data showed on Friday.

Russia's Energy Ministry said that the country's crude oil production in metric tons (1.1023 tons) stood at 44.23 million last month.

Russia's crude production stayed above the 9.95 million bpd pumped last month by Saudi Arabia, which, unlike Russia, has spare capacity to produce more oil.

The Kremlin is keen to maintain production of oil, a key source of revenue for the state coffers, at no less than 10 million bpd over the next decade.

Oil and gas account for about 20 percent of Russian gross domestic product and provide about half the government's revenue. A decade-long boom saw oil production rising from less than 7 million bpd in 2001 to more than 10 million bpd in 2011.

Top Russian crude producer Rosneft, which is set to acquire Anglo-Russian oil company TNK-BP TNBP.MM for $55 billion, increased its October output by 0.9 percent thanks to a 4.5 percent increase at its Vankor greenfield development in East Siberia.

Oil production at TNK-BP stayed flat as falling output at its depleted West Siberian oil fields was offset by increasing production at new deposits.

After the merger, Rosneft oil production will climb to 4.6 million bpd, the largest among the world's listed crude producers.

Russia's daily gas production rose 4.8 percent month on month, to 1.75 billion cubic meters (bcm), thanks to seasonal demand for the fuel.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Lidia Kelly and David Goodman)