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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Sees Export Revenues Hitting Record $19.2Bln in '04

Gazprom, the world's biggest natural gas producer, said Tuesday its 2004 export revenue soared 16 percent to a record amid surging prices.

The company probably earned $19.2 billion from sales of gas to buyers outside of the former Soviet Union this year, the company said in a statement. That compares with $16.5 billion in 2003.

Gazprom exported 140.5 billion cubic meters of gas outside of the former Soviet Union, compared with 132.9 bcm in 2003, and delivered 52.2 bcm to former Soviet republics, the company said. That excludes 50.2 bcm of Central Asian gas that was pumped through Russia last year.

Gazprom's gas output rose 0.9 percent to 545.1 bcm last year. Oil production rose 9 percent to 12 million tons (240,300 barrels per day).

The company cut costs by 30 billion rubles ($1.07 billion) last year and boosted reserves by 390 million tons of oil equivalent, Gazprom said.

The company, 38 percent owned by the government, is being merged with state-owned oil producer Rosneft to create a government-run energy behemoth. Interfax quoted an unidentified Gazprom official as saying Tuesday that the integration with Rosneft would be completed in March.

Gazprom is buying Rosneft in a share swap that would increase the government's stake above 50 percent -- a precondition for the government to lift restrictions on foreign ownership of Gazprom shares.

"After the state has 51 percent, I don't see any basis for the stake to change hands. As for the remaining 49 percent, in my view there should not be any barriers ... for either residents or nonresidents," Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told Vedomosti in an interview published Monday.

(Bloomberg, MT)