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Russian oil giant Rosneft posts record 2012 profit

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Russia's state oil giant Rosneft on Friday posted a record profit of $11.4 billion (8.4 bn euros) in 2012 thanks to rising crude production and a sharp year-on-year jump in its output of natural gas.

The stellar results for Russia's largest oil company capped a year in which it agreed to take control of the country's number four producer TNK-BP and established a lucrative joint venture with the gas exploration firm Itera.

Chief executive Igor Sechin -- a close ally of President Vladimir Putin who structured the TNK-BP deal -- said Rosneft was fast becoming the world's largest energy firm.

He particularly pointed to the inroads Rosneft has made in exploiting the untapped energy reserves of the Arctic with companies such as US super-giant ExxonMobil and Norway's Statoil.

"Our efforts have made projects offshore on the Russian shelf a reality underpinned by investments by Rosneft and its strategic partners," Sechin said in a statement.

"We plan to maintain this pace moving forward with our strategy to further grow shareholder value reflecting the company’s true potential."

The government had earlier on Friday said it had awarded Rosneft the rights to explore 12 new fields in the Arctic that had been previously eyed by private players such as Lukoil.

Sechin said on Thursday that Rosneft's planned acquisition of the Anglo-Russian TNK-BP venture would see the company's oil production nearly double to 1.58 billion barrels from 894 million barrels in 2012.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/russian-oil-giant-rosneft-posts-record-2012-profit