RUSSIA BOOSTS ITS OIL EXPORTS

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MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia continues to increase its oil exports, both to the Commonwealth of Independent States and beyond.

In the first quarter of 2005, Russia's oil exports outside the CIS grew by 5,576,600 tons year-on-year, to 48,913,700 tons, while the supplies to countries of the Former Soviet Union reached 9,802,100 tons, having increased by 16,200 tons over the same period last year.

With the transit resources counted in, 54,540,900 tons of oil was exported outside the CIS in January through March this year, 6,053,6000 tons more than in the same period of 2004.

A total 51,721,900 tons of crude oil was supplied to refineries across the nation in the year's first quarter, including 17,596,400 tons in March.

Transneft, Russia's main oil transportation company, has substantially increased its shipments since the year began. Some 52,239,600 tons of oil, transit resources included, was pumped out of the CIS through Transneft-operated pipelines in the January-to-March period-a 9.6% increase on the same period of last year.

The production of natural gas in Russia is on the rise, too. In the first quarter of 2005, the output was brought up to 172,656 million cubic meters-2.6 percent more than in the same period last year. According to statistics of the Industries and Energy Ministry, 59,983 million cubic meters of gas was produced in March alone.

Russia's coal exports came to 17,760,000 tons in the year's first quarter, including 5,975,000 tons in March. The country imported 5,691,000 tons of coal over this period, including 2,109,000 tons in March.

The coal production levels reached 76,843,000 tons January to March, including 26,458,000 tons turned out in March.

According to the Industries and Energy Ministry, 52,515,000 tons of coal and finished products was supplied to the domestic market in January through March 2005, including 17,765,000 tons in March.

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