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    MOSCOW, February 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent)- Investments in the development of the oil and gas sector in Russia can become highly effective business for the Russian and foreign companies, stated Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Irina Osokina at the 23rd Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) conference in Houston. This was disclosed in the press-release issued by the ministry.

    "In 2003, Russia's daily output of oil and gas was the greatest in the world. In the past year Russian oil output was 421.4 million metric tons, which is 41.8 million metric tons more than in 2002, the output of gas grew by 25 billion cubic meters to 620 billion cubic meters," the deputy minister stated.

    "According to expert forecasts, the net profits of the Russian oil industry in 2003-2020 will be no less than $820 billion and $350 billion in the gas industry," the press release said.

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