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Russian oil production hits post-Soviet high: ministry

Russian oil production reached a record 511 million tonnes in 2011, but output levels are unlikely to increase further over the next three years, an official said Saturday.

Sergei Kudriashov, the vice-minister for energy, said the output level was up by about one percent last year, a record for the post-Soviet period.

“We understand that in the three coming years, we are going to have a lull in the operation of new deposits,” he said in comments broadcast on public television station Russia 24. “That’s why the principle task now is to use the resources we have and maximise the efficiency of work in old deposits.”

He estimated Russia would be able to maintain an oil output of about 510 million tonnes for the next three years.

“In 2008, when oil prices were at a high, we saw a drop in production,” he said. “In the last three years, we’ve succeeded in reversing the trend.”