Bulgak worried about oil industry's performance

May 15, 1999 02:00 AM

Russia's Acting Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bulgak said he was concerned by the performance of the domestic oil industry.
The country's oil companies are expected to extract about 300 million tons of crude oil and export 130 million tons this year, he said. Since Russia consumes about 200 million tons of oil per year, he remarked, this situation constitutes a threat to the country's ability to be self-sufficient in petroleum.
He stated that the best way to close the gap was to merge several existing oil producers. Bulgak claimed that a merger would reduce drilling costs to such a degree that oil companies would be able to push up production at a relatively low cost. He did not provide any data to back up this assertion.

Meanwhile, the Russian State Statistics Committee announced that 24.8 mm tons of oil had been produced in March of this year, up from 22.4 mm tons in February but down on 25.0 mm tons in March of 1998.
Bulgak stated that Russian oil output had risen by just 1% in thefirst quarter of 1999 but did not provide a specific figure.

Source: NewsBase
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