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Gazprom Neft to boost crude output to 586 mln bbls by 2020

MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom Neft, the oil producing arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP], said on Monday it intends to boost crude output to 80-90 million metric tons (586-660 million barrels) per year by 2020.

Gazprom Neft, which is yet to publish its production figures for 2007, produced 32.7 million metric tons (240 million barrels) of oil in 2006.

"In 2020, Gazprom Neft's proven reserves are expected to reach at least 2.2 billion metric tons [16 billion barrels] and oil output to grow to 80-90 million metric tons per year, while oil refining is set to account for at least two-thirds of crude production," Alexander Dyukov, the company's president, said in an interview with business daily Kommersant.

Dyukov said Gazprom Neft planned to increase crude refining largely through the acquisition of refineries or the construction of new facilities.

Gazprom Neft, which signed a deal on the purchase of a 51% stake in the Serbia state-owned oil monopoly Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) during talks between the two countries' leaders in Moscow in late January, is interested in buying other refining assets in Europe in the long-term, Dyukov said.

Gazprom Neft, which bought a 50% stake in Tomskneft from state oil company Rosneft in late December, would like to acquire the remaining 50% stake in the West Siberian oil producer, most likely by way of an asset swap, Dyukov said.

Tomskneft produced an estimated 11.6 million metric tons (85.5 million bbl) of oil in 2007, and plans to increase crude output to 13.3 million metric tons (97.8 million bbl) by 2013. The company holds oil and gas production licenses in the Tomsk Region and seven mineral licenses in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Area in West Siberia.

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