Russia 2011 oil production seen above 500 mln tonnes

Russia will produce more than 500 million tonnes of oil in 2011, while also steering its coal industry towards developing Eastern world rather than “stagnating” West, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Saturday

“This year we will likely beat (2010 results) as in the first half of this year we have produced around 350 million tonnes,” Shmatko told Russia 24 TV channel in an interview.

The world’s largest oil and gas producer will also continue increasing exposure of its coal industry towards growing Chinese economy, Russia’s biggest trading partner.

“The Western market is well known for us but it will stagnate… Pacific region is a window of opportunities for us. Chinese associates are ready to give substantial loans to finance … infrastructure, particularly,” Shmatko said.

He also said that Russia has “something to offer” to Libya where full refurbishment of oil production and transport infrastructure will take “a year to year and a half, or maybe more.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Saturday that Moscow had invited members of Libya’s interim government to discuss the future of Russian energy contracts in the country stricken by six months of civil war.

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