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Oil, gas output hit record level in Russia’s Far East in 2007

A record 14.9 million metric tons (109 million barrels) of crude were produced off Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East in 2007, the regional statistics service said on Tuesday.

"The Sakhalin Region produced 14.9 million metric tons of oil last year, or 8.7 million metric tons (64 million barrels) more than in 2006. Average daily crude production (including gas condensate) grew 140%, year on year, in 2007," the statistics service said.

Russia is currently working on the Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II projects off the Pacific Coast with the participation of foreign investors.

The Sakhalin I project is operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited, a subsidiary of U.S. oil major Exxon, and has recoverable reserves estimated at 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 485 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The Sakhalin II project, in which Russian gas monopoly Gazprom holds a controlling stake, has estimated reserves of 150 million metric tons (1.1 billion barrels) of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Sakhalin is some 10,000km (6,200 miles) east of Moscow. The island was once a Soviet military outpost and was off limits to foreigners for many years. It was also a Tsarist penal colony.

The statistics service said the U.S. Exxon Neftegas Limited was the leader in oil output followed by Sakhalinmorneftegaz, Sakhalin Energy and Petrosakh.

Gas output also reached record levels last year, the statistics service said.

"In the reporting period, a total of 6.4 billion cubic meters of gas were produced, or 4.2 billion cubic meters more than in 2006. Average daily gas output grew 190%," the statistics service said.

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