* Gazprom, production sharing agreements add to growth
* Sanctions limit investments, could hurt future output
* Lukoil cuts investments, Rosneft seeks Chinese partner
(Recasts, adds comments, details)
By Katya Golubkova
MOSCOW, Sept 2 Russia's oil output rose in
August helped by an increase in condensate production at Gazprom
, showing that energy supplies so far have not been
affected by sanctions over the country's military invasion of
Oil production rose 1 percent to 10.52 million barrels per
day (bpd) in August from July due to state-controlled Gazprom
and projects with foreign companies, Russian Energy Ministry
Production in Russia, which includes crude oil and gas
condensate, was still the world's highest in August. Its closest
rival, Saudi Arabia, produced an average 9.75 million bpd last
month, a Reuters survey showed.
Western nations have imposed sanctions on Moscow over its
annexation of Crimea in March and its stance over the war in
eastern Ukraine, warning of further measures if Russia does not
help to stop the conflict escalating.
The measures include a ban on investments into new equity or
debt with a maturity longer than 90 days for a number of
Russia's largest companies, as well as on exports of equipment
for new oil projects.
Sanctions have not yet hit oil production as the current
measures are aimed at new projects which are years away from
coming on stream. But as Western funding closes off or becomes
too expensive, companies are already looking to cut investments.
Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer whose output
was flat month-on-month, last week said it plans to cut its
investments by $2 billion next year.
"Struggles in accessing foreign funding may affect
investments in oil production," Valery Nesterov, an analyst with
Sberbank CIB, said, warning that output levels may also be hit
in the next couple of years.
Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, which has
been targetted by sanctions, has offered Chinese investors a
stake in its huge Vankor oil project, its second biggest, which
pumped an average 442,000 bpd in August.
The ministry estimates that Russia will need around $150
billion in annual investments to sustain output at mature fields
and bring new fields on stream.
But sanctions look set to increase. Italian Foreign Minister
Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament on Tuesday that
European Union governments will decide on a package of new
sanctions against Russia by Friday.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
In the mean time, Russian Energy Ministry data shows that
output at projects under production-sharing agreements (PSA)
with foreign-owned firms continues.
There are three PSAs in Russia - the Total-led
Kharyaga project, ExxonMobil -led Sakhalin-1 and
Production at state-controlled Gazprom jumped by 36 percent
month-on-month in August to 306,000 bpd. Output at projects
under PSAs rose 12 percent to 241,000 bpd.
Alexander Kornilov, an analyst with Alfa Bank, said Gazprom
was just returning to usual condensate production levels after a
drop in July following maintenance works. Gazprom's Surgut plant
was out of operation for most of July.
Sberbank CIB's Nesterov said monthly production at PSA
projects was volatile because of maintenance issues, including
at some offshore production platforms. In June, output was
In tonnes, Russian oil output reached 44.472 million in
August versus 43.949 million in July.
Gas production was 42.74 billion cubic metres (bcm) last
month, or 1.38 bcm a day, versus 42.68 bcm in July. Gazprom
produced 26.28 bcm, or 848 mcm per day, in August,
down from 26.72 bcm a month earlier.
Russia's Energy Ministry has forecast oil production to
reach 525 million tonnes this year (10.54 million bpd), up 0.4
(1 US dollar = 37.3710 Russian rouble)
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and