Gazprom raises gas output 10%

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Gazprom increased its gas output by 10 percent in 2010 to over 508 billion cubic metres, mostly due to increased domestic demand, the head of Russia's natural gas giant was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"The company extracted in 2010 508.6 billion cubic metres of gas. That's 47.1 billion cubic metres more than in 2009", or an increase of 10 percent, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

The world's largest gas company's output reached 460 billion cubic metres in 2009 amid a drop in European demand caused by the world financial crisis and a dispute with Ukraine, which blocked transit of gas to Europe.

Miller said last year's improvement was mostly due to increased demand within Russia.

"If the rate of the recovery of the Russian economy remains the same then by the end of 2011 we can return to the level of our gas production before the crisis," he said.

Last month the company said that it expected annual production to rise to 570 to 580 billion cubic metres by 2015, down from a 2008 forecast of 610 to 615 billion cubic metres by that stage.

© 2011 AFP

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