Rosneft quarterly profits rise 10% to $2.8 bn

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Russia's top oil producer Rosneft on Tuesday posted a 9.7 percent rise in third quarter profits to $2.8 billion (2.0 billion euros) on record production volumes that offset a rise in export tariff costs.

The company said production shot up 20.6 percent to 15 million tonnes of oil in the third quarter when compared to the same period a year earlier.

Analysts had forecast a net profit between $2.4 billion and $2.8 billion so the results boosted Rosneft shares to the top of MICEX exchange leader board with a gain of nearly four percent.

Company chief Eduard Khudainatov called the quarter of "fundamental importance" to Rosneft because it included the signature of an Arctic oil exploration alliance with the US super-major ExxonMobil.

"Our partners not only confirmed their commitment to invest in joint projects but are also ready to share and exchange the latest technologies and experience from international projects," Khudainatov said.

"This will give Rosneft the competitive edge in offshore operations and at deposits with unconventional reserves."

Rosneft's results were hampered by new export duties introduced by the government to help cover a vast social programme it announced in the run up to December's parliamentary and next year's presidential elections.

© 2011 AFP

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