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Russian oil firm Rosneft sees third quarter profit double

MOSCOW--Russia's largest oil company Rosneft said Thursday that it doubled its profit in the third quarter of the year thanks to strong sales and higher oil prices.

Rosneft's net profit rose to US$5.7 billion in the July-September period from US$2.8 billion last year. The increase was greater than expected in the markets and came despite a modest increase in revenues from US$24.6 billion to US$25.5 billion.

The firm, which is 75-percent owned by the government, last month sealed a historic deal to buy Russia's third-largest oil producer TNK-BP from BP and a group of Russian shareholders.

Rosneft's strong third-quarter figures were also driven by an increase in daily production, from 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent to 2.7 billion barrels in the third quarter this year, mainly thanks to the new oil fields of Vankor and Verkhnechonsk.

Separately on Thursday, Rosneft announced a major deal to supply state-owned electricity company Inter RAO with natural gas. Rosneft, which is boosting its gas business, has committed to sell to Inter RAO up to 875 billion cubic meters of gas between 2016 and 2040.

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