* Russia’s oil output rises to 10.61 mln bpd in Nov from 10.59 mln bpd in Oct
* Gas production falls 4 pct to 1.93 bcm
* Next year’s oil output in Russia seen up around 0.5 pct
MOSCOW, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Increased production at Rosneft and foreign-led projects sent overall Russian oil output, the world’s largest, to a post-Soviet record high of 10.61 million barrels per day in November, Energy Ministry data showed on Monday.
In tonnes, crude production was 43.44 million for the month.
Russian companies have been increasing their oil output to exploit high global crude prices and thanks to government measures, including tax breaks for crude oil extraction at remote and challenging provinces.
The launch of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, as well as Rosneft’s drive to more than triple oil exports to China from the current 300,000 barrels per day, also benefited oil production in the country.
In October, Russia’s oil production stood at 10.59 million bpd.
November’s production was more than the 9.7 million bpd pumped by the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, when combined crude output at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped to its lowest since May 2011.
The data showed that the world’s top listed oil producer Rosneft increased oil production by 0.5 percent to 3.89 million bpd.
Oil output under production sharing agreements (PSA), designed in the 1990s to encourage investment by foreign oil companies, jumped by 11 percent in November to almost 1.3 million tonnes (317,000 bpd).
“Russia’s oil output hit a record for the second time in a row, and it was all due to the continuation of production growth at PSA projects,” Denis Borisov, director at Ernst & Young’s oil and gas centre in Moscow, said.
He added that Rosneft’s growth was mainly due to consolidation of a recently acquired firm in East Siberia.
PSA projects include Sakhalin-1, which involves Rosneft, ExxonMobil, ONGC and Sodeco; Sakhalin-2 involving Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui, and Mitsubishi; and Kharyaga with Total, Statoil and Zarubezhneft.
The ministry did not provide a breakdown by project.
Sales from Russian oil and gas account for over a half of the state budget revenues and the state considers the sectors as “strategic” for its economy. The government aims to at least maintain oil production at 10 million bpd this decade.
Borisov forecast a 0.5 percent growth in Russian oil output next year thanks to production at new fields in East Siberia, Caspian Sea and, particularly, Novoportovskoye oilfield in Yamal region.
Natural gas production declined by 4 percent to 1.93 billion cubic metres a day in November, the data showed. Last month, Ukraine halted Russian gas imports for almost a week.
Gazprom’s output fell by 8 percent to 1.37 bcm per day, while gas production at Novatek, Russia’s top non-state gas company, stayed broadly flat, at almost 0.15 bcm per day.
The data shows only Novatek’s core production units’ output.