May 24 (UPI) -- With a decision looming on extending an OPEC-led effort to curb production, Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft said output was higher than last year.
Russia is the largest non-member contributor to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance a market favoring the supply side through managed production cuts. Russia last week joined Saudi Arabia in proposing an extension to the arrangement into early 2018, instead of the six months outlined in the initial agreement.
Gazprom Neft, the fourth largest oil producer in Russia, said in a statement delivered Wednesday on performance during the first quarter that total production of hydrocarbons during the period was about 160 million barrels of oil equivalent, a level that was 4.8 percent higher year-on-year.
The company attributed the rise in part to gains from its Arctic oil fields as well as increased production from its operations in Iraq.
A subsidiary of Gazprom Neft in early May said total cumulative production from the Novoportovskoye field above the Arctic Circle reached 5 million metric tons, or around 35 million barrels. A total of 19 wells at the field have been constructed so far this year at the field and the company revised its production schedule higher after a review of data found annual peak production rates could reach 35 million barrels.
At the Badra oil field in Iraq, the company has commissioned at least four wells so far this year and increased daily production to 80,000 barrels. Total output so far this year is in excess of 5 million barrels.
Parties to the OPEC-led effort meet in Vienna on Thursday to consider the extension. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was a growing consensus to pursue balance in the market for crude oil.
"The issue here is first of all about joint efforts aimed at aligning the dynamics of energy prices," he said.