Russia reports on April oil production

Jun 19, 1999 02:00 AM

Russia's State Statistics Committee announced that some 24.1 million metric tons of crude oil had been produced in April, down from 24.8 million metric tons in March.
By comparison, 23.9 million metric tons of oil were produced in April of last year. Russia produced a total of 96 million metric tons of oil in the first four months of 1999 and is expected to produce less than 300 million metric tons this year.
The forecasts of decline have set off alarm bells in some circles in Russia. Several high-profile government officials have expressed worry that the country might become a net oil importer, and one industry expert said recently that Russia was all but squandering its oil resources.
Only 5 % of the world's known oil reserves are located in Russia, said Professor Safah Ahmetov of the Ufa State Petrochemical University, and no sizeable fields have been discovered in the last few years. Under the circumstances, said Ahmetov, there is no reason for Russia to export 150 million metric tons of crude per year.
The professor also expressed dismay that Russian refineries had not been able to improve their yield from crude. Domestic oil-processing plants boast yields of only 65 %, he said, better than the average figure of 58-59 % posted in the 1970s and 1980s but nowhere near the Western average of 80-90 %.

Source: NewsBase
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