Russia's natural gas output in January-September 2005 reached 418 billion cubic meters, up 0.5% year on year, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Monday. Oil companies and independent natural gas producers increased output by 101.2%, whereas the output of subsidiaries of natural gas giant Gazprom increased by 100.4%. Gazprom's share in overall output remained unchanged from last year at 86%, RIA Novosti reports. In August, natural gas output fell by 0.3% year on year. Independent companies increased production by 0.6%, whereas Gazprom companies' output declined by 0.1%. Total of 640 billion cubic meters of natural gas was expected to be produced in 2005, up 1.2% from 2004. Data published by the Federal Customs Service and preliminary data of the Industry and Energy Ministry's said gas exports in the January-August 2005 period reached 142.6 billion cubic meters (104.9%), including 108.4 billion cubic meters (111.6%) delivered to western markets and 33.2 billion cubic meters (85.6%) to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a decline caused by reduced supplies to Ukraine.
In its review of Russia's social and economic development over the past eight months, the ministry noted an almost 50% year-on-year growth in oil prices.