LUKoil posts 3% drop in crude exports on larger refining volume

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MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - Subsidiaries of Russia's LUKoil [RTS: LKOH] reduced oil exports by 3% year-on-year in January-June 2007 due to larger refining volumes in Russia, the company said Thursday.

The board of directors of LUKoil, the country's largest independent crude producer, discussed Thursday the company's preliminary results for the first half of 2007, and also its 2007 budget performance and investment program progress report.

"Oil exports by the company's subsidiaries came to 21.8 mln [metric] tons [160 mln bbls] in the first half of 2007, which is 3% less than over the same period in 2006. The decline in exports is accounted for by raised oil refining capacity within Russia under high profit margins," LUKoil said in a statement.

Oil refining at the company's facilities in Russia grew 10.1% in the reporting period to 20.6 million metric tons, while total refining output at the company's Russian and overseas plants gained 7.8% to 25.1 million metric tons, the statement said.

Aggregate oil production by LUKoil Group (production by subsidiaries and LUKoil's share in the production of affiliated companies) increased 3.9% year-on-year in January-June 2007, to 48.5 million metric tons (355 million bbls), including 45.6 million metric tons (334 million bbls) in Russia and 2.9 million metric tons (21.3 million bbls) under foreign projects, the statement said.

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