Oil Output Ticks Up in September

The country's oil output continued rising modestly in September but remained down year on year, while exports recovered after a slump in the previous month, Energy Ministry data showed Thursday.

The data showed that September oil production stood at 9.83 million barrels per day, the highest level this year, compared with 9.82 million bpd in August, which was one day longer.

Russian output, which swung between decline and stagnation in the first half of the year, started slightly rising in the past few months, raising hopes that the government will avert the first annual decline of the decade.

Oil production rose by 2.3 percent last year and even more rapidly in the previous years this decade.

September production was still down by 0.4 percent from the same period last year, and oil output accumulated since the beginning of the year was down by 0.8 percent from the first nine months of the last year.

The data also showed that exports via pipeline monopoly Transneft rose to 4.13 million bpd in September from 3.96 million bpd in the month before, when exports slumped to their lowest level since late 2004 amid high oil export duties.

The export duty for August and September was set at a record $495.9 per ton, based on record high June and July oil prices. The government has decided to cut the duty to $372 per ton from October to support producers hit by the weaker crude price.