Russian oil output hits post-Soviet high of 10 million barrels
A production ramp-up at Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz brought Russia's oil output, the world's largest, to a new post-Soviet record high of 10.59 million barrels a day (bpd) in October, according to energy ministry data.
Russia's oil production peaked at 11.41 million bpd in 1988 when it was still part of the former Soviet Union, according to the International Energy Agency.
Russia accounted for 90pc of all Soviet oil output.
In 1991, in the final days of the Soviet Union, Russia's output fell to 9.24 million bpd, down 10.5pc from 10.32 million bpd in 1990 and off 19pc from the 1988 peak.
Many analysts say the slump in oil production and a drop in prices contributed to the fall of the 70-year-old Communist empire.
In 1996, when Boris Yeltsin (pictured) was re-elected as Russia's president, oil production went into a three-year period of stagnation amid under-investment and slowing demand.
Russian oil output then fell by about 1pc in 2008 from the previous year, to about 9.8 million bpd -- its first decline in a decade -- as crude prices collapsed as a consequence of a worldwide economic downturn.
Russian oil output grew by about 1.5 pc in 2009 to the then post-Soviet high of an average of 9.925 million bpd for the year, and in September exceeded a monthly level of 10 million bpd for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In 2010 Russia overtook Saudi Arabia -- which restrains its output when it deems it necessary -- as the world's largest producer as new fields were launched, including Vankor, Uvat and Talakan.
In 2012, Russia's oil output had reached a post-Soviet yearly record high of 10.37 million bpd. (Reuters)