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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Production Data May Be Flawed

Statistics showing Russian oil production fell 14. 5 percent in 1992 may have been exaggerated and the real fall may be only 11. 5 percent, the newspaper Moscow News reported Thursday.

The report casts doubt on official Ministry of Energy and Russian Statistics Committee figures which said oil production fell to between 395 and 393 million in 1992 from 462 million in 1991.

But the Moscow News report puts the real figure for 1992 at 408 million tons. While the fall is significant, it is slightly less dramatic than official statistics had portrayed.

The report said official figures exaggerated the drop in crude oil production by ignoring production by foreign joint ventures and non-official Russian state producers.

The official figures cites three areas of production which may have been underestimated.

First, 32 joint ventures with over 30 percent foreign ownership operated in Russia in 1992 either pumping their own oil or receiving oil as payment for services. These amounted to about 8 million tons of oil in 1992.

Second, several small Russian firms for whom oil production is only a secondary activity produced 4. 4 million tons of oil in 1992 which did not enter into official statistics. A third group of private Russian firms operating on marginal wells produced 1. 5 million tons.