MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's oil output will increase 2.6% year-on-year to 492 million metric tons (3.6 billion bbl) in 2007, Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told an energy forum on Tuesday.
The official said the increase would mainly come from east Siberia and Far Eastern offshore areas.
Khristenko said the indices complied with energy strategy until 2020, when crude output in East Siberia should reach design capacity.
"[Oil] output in west Siberia is slightly reducing, rather than growing, with entire overall growth assured by east Siberian and Far Eastern offshore areas," the minister said.
He added that the higher output resulted from amendments in laws providing investors in east Siberia with tax remissions and the implementation of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline route, which Russia is building in order to pump crude eastward to Asian markets.
Russia's oil output grew 2.1%, year-on-year, in 2006, to 480.02 million metric tons (3.5 billion bbl). The Industry and Energy Ministry said earlier this year that LUKoil, Rosneft, TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz and Gazprom Neft were the leaders in oil and gas condensate production last year.