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Russia's 2013 oil output hits post-USSR high as Gazprom holding slips again

MOSCOW -- World energy power Russia said on Thursday that its 2013 oil output hit a post-Soviet high while natural gas production of its giant Gazprom holding slipped for the second successive year.

The mixed figures — highlighted by yet another dip in oil exports outside ex-Soviet territories — point to lingering problems in a sector that accounts for about half of Russia's budget revenues.

It also remains instrumental to President Vladimir Putin as he battles a rapid economic slowdown that has put a strain on the commitment to broader social spending he made when re-elected to a third term in 2012.

The Russian energy ministry's reporting unit said oil and gas condensate production grew by 1.0 percent last year to reach a new record of 523.3 million tons (10.51 million barrels per day).

Russia had established its previous post-Soviet high in 2012 when output stood at 10.40 million barrels per day.

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