MOSCOW, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Thanks in part to Arctic oil, total production of oil and gas reserves are 10 percent higher than last year, Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said.
The company said in its consolidated report for the first half of the year that total production of nearly 300 million barrels of oil equivalent marked a 10 percent increase from the same period in 2015. Gazprom Neft attributed the increase to sustained production at oil and gas fields in the Russian north and increases from Arctic oil fields like Prirazlomnoye.
A subsidiary of Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said production from an ice-resistant offshore rig perched at Prirazlomnoye in the Pechora Sea has now passed 43,980 barrels of oil per day.
In March, the company said it reached a milestone with the production of its 10 millionth barrel of oil at the Prirazlomnoye field. Gazprom Neft revised its production schedule higher after a review of data found annual peak production rates could reach 35 million barrels.
"The current macroeconomic environment notwithstanding," the Russian company said in a statement the increased production in part helped led to a 1.9 percent increase in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization.
Total profits attributable to shareholders, meanwhile, increased 7.1 percent from last year to $1.6 billion. Second quarter earnings were up 11 percent from the first quarter, which the contributed attributed to the increase in crude oil prices.
After a brief spike above the $50 per barrel mark, crude oil prices are trending back to the short-term norm in the mid- to upper-$40 range. Prices trended higher for much of August on rumors of extraordinary action from oil-producing nations. Moscow has expressed support for such considerations, though a similar effort collapsed earlier this year amid multilateral differences.
Advocacy groups like Greenpeace have been critical about oil operations in the extreme climates of the Arctic north, saying an oil spill in the region would be catastrophic and difficult to control.