* Russian oil output reaches high of 10.53 mln bpd in June
* Gas output fell 12 percent in June, m/m
(Recasts, adds analyst comments, links to tables)
MOSCOW, July 2 State-owned Rosneft led the Russian oil
industry to another post-Soviet output record in June as it continued ramping up
production at eastern fields key to its China ambitions, Energy Ministry data
showed on Tuesday.
The main field driving output growth, Vankor, is the single largest field
supplying China and surrounding fields are due to be tapped in coming years to
ensure the output gains necessary for Rosneft's promise to triple Chinese
deliveries to nearly 1 million barrels per day in the future.
However, Rosneft's drive to boost the eastward route has been hampered by
output decreases at TNK-BP, acquired in March for nearly $55 billion, which has
been struggling to stem long-lasting production decline at old fields in West
Siberia and other regions.
Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, an influential ally of President Vladimir
Putin, acquired TNK-BP from BP and a consortium of Soviet-born tycoons
earlier this year, while BP became a shareholder in Rosneft.
TNK-BP output's output declined 1.4 percent in the first half of this year
compared to the first half of last year, thought it saw a small uptick
month-on-month in June.
"We saw a decline in drilling activity by 8 percent in the first five months
of the year at TNK-BP. Partially, this was due to the period of uncertainty
following the Rosneft acquisition," Valery Nesterov, an analyst from Sberbank
In the first six months of 2013, Russia's total oil production, the world's
largest, averaged 10.47 million bpd, up 1.4 percent from the same period a year
earlier and above a target of 1 percent set by the ministry for this year.
According to Nesterov, consolidated oil output at Rosneft, excluding TNK-BP
and subsidiaries, increased by 2.4 percent in January-June thanks to the new
Russia, where proceeds from oil and gas constitute around half of the
federal budget revenues, aims to produce at least 10 million bpd of oil this
INCREASE IN JUNE
In June, Russia's daily oil production rose by around 0.5 percent to 10.53
million barrels from May. The previous post-Soviet record monthly peak of 10.50
million bpd was reached in December.
Russian production in June was higher than 9.5 million bpd pumped by Saudi
Arabia. In tonnes, Russia's total crude production was 43.083
million last month.
Last month's increase was mainly due to a production ramp up at TNK-BP
Holding, now 95 percent owned by Rosneft and presented separately in the Energy
The company increased its oil production 1.4 percent in June,
month-on-month, thanks to recovery of output at its Orenburg subsidiary in the
Volga Urals region, where fields have been developed for over 75 years and are
among Russia's oldest.
Production at Orenburg rose by 2 percent in June from May but six months
output declined there by 1.8 percent, year-on-year.
Orenburg had been held up as a model of brownfield management, coming out of
decline to reach peak production in recent years, but it went into decline again
due to problems with water management, sources close to TNK-BP have said.
Lukoil, Russia's No.2 crude producer, increased output by 3.2 percent month
on month buoyed by its acquisition of an upstream asset from Hess Corp
for $2.05 billion.
The company plans to increase its oil output by around 1 percent this year
after three consecutive years of decline caused by depletion of its West Siberia
fields and poor geological data in Northern Russia.
The ministry said Russia's daily natural gas production fell almost 12
percent to 1.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) last month from 1.7 bcm in May.
Gas output at Gazprom, the world's top producer, fell by more than
14 percent in June from May to 1.01 bcm per day. Year-on-year production was
down 8.6 percent.
The company has been squeezed out by rivals, such as Novatek, from
the domestic market, where its share fell to 73 percent last year from 80
percent in 2008.
($1 = 32.9557 Russian roubles)
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Melissa Akin; editing by William Hardy)