Rosneft profits jump amid sanctions

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Rosneft111 Reuters. A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow in this file picture.

Moscow - Russia's state-held oil giant Rosneft said on Friday it was working on a plans to reduce the effects of Western sanctions over Ukraine, and announced a five-fold jump in second-quarter earnings.

“Together with our partners - the world's leading oil companies - we are working on a plan to minimise the consequences of including Rosneft on the sanction lists,” Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin said in the company's earning statement.

Rosneft was hit by US sanctions last week and the European Union is considering tightening exports of technology needed to explore and extract energy from remote Russian regions.

Meanwhile the company beat analyst expectations to post a second-quarter net profit of 172 billion rubles (3.6 billion euros, $4.9 billion).

Profits were boosted by positive exchange rate effects, and a 22-percent jump in sales compared with the second quarter of 2013

to 1.44 trillion rubles.

Operating profit measured as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) soared 41 percent to 304

billion rubles.

Output rose 4.6 percent to 5.01 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Oil output edged up 1.3 percent while production of natural gas jumped by 33 percent.

Sechin said Rosneft “once again demonstrated strong financial results” and said increasing operating efficiency allowed the company to increase its free cash flow by almost three times from the same quarter last year.

“Rosneft has been intensifying its effort in developing promising projects on the Russian offshore,” added Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The costly acquisitions made by the influential group in recent years have largely been financed by Western banks and the company has teamed up with Western oil companies to explore and extract oil from remote Russian regions.

Britain's BP owns nearly 20 percent of its capital and it is cooperating with US company ExxonMobil to explore Russia's Arctic regions.

Rosneft, the biggest quoted oil company by production, was added last week to the US sanctions list as Washington tries to step up pressure on Moscow over the conflict being waged in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists.

The drastic reduction of Rosneft's access to US capital markets could dash the company's hopes of doubling its output over the next 20 years. - Sapa-AFP



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