* Daily oil output 10.34 mln bpd, up 0.6 percent from July
* Total gas output 45 bcm, down 4.5 percent from July 2011
(Adds change from year ago, background on West Siberian
MOSCOW Aug 2 Russian oil output, the world's
largest, rose to 10.34 million barrels per day (bpd) in July
from 10.32 million bpd in June, keeping it just ahead of its
nearest rival, Saudi Arabia, Energy Ministry data showed on
Saudi Arabia pumped 10 million bpd in July, a Reuters survey
showed. Russia's post-Soviet record was 10.36 million bpd.
In tonnes, the ministry said total crude production stood at
43.74 million in July.
Output growth was less than one percent compared to July
2011, and Russian oil companies are struggling to maintain even
these lacklustre growth rates as their main fields in West
Siberia, the workhorse of the Soviet oil industry, decline.
Russian oil firms raised output by nearly 50 percent between
2002 and 2010, and are experimenting with expanded horizontal
drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing - technologies
which aided the shale boom in the United States - to squeeze
more barrels out of the old province, in addition to development
of new fields.
Daily gas production stood at 1.45 billion cubic meters
(bcm) in July, down from 1.54 bcm in June. Total output for the
month was 45 bcm, down 4.5 percent from July 2011 as Russian
export monopoly Gazprom faces weak demand in its main
export market, Europe.
It had been expected to rise with the planned June launch of
Gazprom's giant Bovanenkovo field, but the launch was delayed to
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; editing by Melissa Akin and