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Russian August oil output, exports rise after July price record

Average daily oil output rose 2.8% to 9.76 million barrels a day during the month, or 41.27 million tons, from 9.50 million barrels a day, compared with a year earlier, according to the Energy and Industry Ministry's CDU-TEK unit. Exports advanced to 5.40 million barrels a day, a 10% jump from a year earlier, and up slightly from the 5.38 million barrels a day shipped abroad in July. Crude oil futures rose to $78.40 in New York on July 14, the highest since the contract began trading in 1983, as Israeli forces attacked Lebanon for a third day. Crude oil averaged $73.08 in August, 12% higher than a year earlier. OAO Lukoil was Russia's biggest producer, extracting 1.84 million barrels a day. BP Plc venture OAO TNK-BP's output rebounded to 1.73 million barrels a day and state-owned OAO Rosneft, key to President Vladimir Putin's plans to increase the government's role in the energy industry, increased output 1.9% to 1.65 million barrels a day, compared with 1.62 million barrels a day in July. Exports to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent states totaled 4.44 million barrels a day, down 2.6% from July, as Russia reduced exports through part of the Druzhba system that was built to carry crude westward in Soviet times. The CIS comprises the former Soviet states, except for the three Baltic republics. OAO Transneft, Russia's monopoly oil operator, at the end of July suspended shipments through the 42-year-old Druzhba-1 pipeline that supplies Belarus and Lithuania, after a spill inside Russia. AB Mazeikiu Nafta, the Lithuanian company that runs the only refinery in the Baltic states, has said it isn't receiving any crude through the pipeline after Transneft resumed pumping oil at reduced pressure. Shipments to refineries in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine jumped 7.3% to 703,000 barrels a day from 655,000 barrels a day in July. Exports outside the Transneft system soared 47% in August to 254,000 barrels a day, from 172,500 a day in July. (Bloomberg)