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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Exploration Investment Falls 16%

Investment into exploration for Russian oil fell 16 percent last year as the costs of running producing fields increased and oil output declined, a Natural Resources and Environment Ministry official said Wednesday.

Investment into exploration fell to 138.7 billion rubles ($4.2 billion), said Grigory Vygon, director of finance and economics at the ministry.

Oil fields required a 30 percent increase in investment to 723 billion rubles last year compared with 2007 and produced slightly less, the statement said.

The country produced 488.49 million tons of crude oil in 2008, 0.6 percent less than the previous year, according to Energy Ministry statistics.

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Tuesday that the country could maintain or slightly raise output this year if oil prices stay above $50 per barrel.

(Bloomberg, MT)