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    PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ONE OF RUSSIA'S STEADIEST: VICE-MINISTER TO OPEC

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    VIENNA, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Oil extraction and petrochemistry are among Russia's most fruitful and reliable industrial branches, Andrei Reus, Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy, said to an OPEC seminar, Petroleum in an Independent World. He is leading the Russian delegation to the international event, underway in Vienna, Austria.

    Petroleum industry is bringing Russia 16% of its gross domestic product, 25% of fiscal and customs revenues at all budgetary levels, and more than 30% of foreign currency revenues.

    Russia presently has more than 240 petroleum and gas extracting companies. Of these, eleven mammoth holdings account for more than 90% of national petroleum yield.

    Mr. Reus highlighted Europe as principal importer of Russian petroleum and petrochemical products. That is due to Russia's pipeline and transport infrastructure, which orients on Europe.

    Sufficient and reliable capital investment in Russia's oil-and-gas complex is possible only when the world petroleum market is steady and predictable, with just crude oil pricing that proceeds from long-term interests of petroleum producers and consumers.

    The global oil market situation drastically changed over a few preceding months to get far outside an OPEC-established price corridor of US$22-28 a barrel-everyone knows why, said Andrei Reus.

    It is far more important to take stock of the chance of concerted action by countries in and outside the OPEC to stabilise oil prices and make their ups and downs more predictable than now, he went on.

    Russian-based companies expect to offer a total 450 million tonnes of petroleum, 225 million of this for exports. That will be an honourable national contribution to global efforts to stabilise prices.

    As the OPEC re-appraises its price corridor within the year, it ought to proceed from balancing out extractors' and consumers' interests and from a necessity to preserve current economic progress rates throughout the world, called Mr. Reus.

    If OPEC countries and independent extractors join hands, all problems will eventually see settlement, he said assuredly.

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