Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft said its net profit over the first nine months was up more than 25 percent, while output increased about 5 percent.
"The company is continuing to implement a growth strategy aimed at further strengthening its position as an industry leader in efficiency and return on investment," Board Chairman Alexander Dyukov said in a statement Wednesday.
Gazprom Neft is the oil division of Russian energy major Gazprom and the fourth largest oil producer in Russia.
Production during the first half of the year was 322.6 million barrels of oil equivalent, an improvement of 5.2 percent from the same period last year. For the first nine months of the year, total production was around 491.5 million barrels of oil equivalent, an increase of 5.6 percent over the same period last year.
The company attributed the gains to production from its oil fields in the Arctic north in Russia, as well as its share of output from OPEC-member Iraq.
Russia is the largest contributor to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an oversupplied market with production cuts that's not a member. Iraq, meanwhile, tends to be the least compliant with the agreement, though recent skirmishes in the Kurdish north have curtailed production there.
The multilateral effort, which may be extended deeper into 2018 when OPEC ministers meet later this month, helped support a rally in crude oil prices for 2017, after dropping last year below $30 per barrel. The price for Urals crude oil, the Russian benchmark, was near $60 per barrel in early Wednesday trading.
Gazprom Neft reported net income for the first half of the year was up 23.1 percent from the same period last year at $1.8 billion. For the first nine months of the year, net income was up 28.2 percent from last year, which the company attributed in part to improved market conditions.