Novatek says natural gas production rose 13% in 1H06

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) -Novatek [RTS ticker: NVTK], Russia's largest private natural gas producer, said Friday its natural gas production in January-June 2006 had increased 13%, year-on-year, to 14.3 billion cubic meters.

The company posted production of liquid hydrocarbons in the same period at 1.27 million metric tons, a 16.9%, year-on-year.

In 2005, Novatek produced some 25.2 bln cu m of natural gas and 2.586 mln metric tons of gas condensate and oil. The company's charter capital, which stands at 303.63 bln rubles ($10.99 bln), is divided into 3,036,306 shares with a par value 100 rubles ($3.62) each.

Novatek is the second largest gas company in Russia after energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP]. Its natural gas reserves are put at 1.6 trillion cu m and its oil reserves total an estimated 259 mln metric tons.

Gazprom said last month that it was planning to buy a 20% stake in Novatek from the company's main shareholders in a deal, slated to be completed by August.

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