Moscow - World energy power Russia said on Thursday that its 2013 oil output hit a post-Soviet high while natural gas production of its giant Gazprom holding slipped for the second successive year.
The mixed figures - highlighted by yet another dip in oil exports outside ex-Soviet territories - point to lingering problems in a sector that accounts for about half of Russia's budget revenues.
It also remains instrumental to President Vladimir Putin as he battles a rapid economic slowdown that has put a strain on the commitment to broader social spending he made when re-elected to a third term in 2012.
The Russian energy ministry's reporting unit said oil and gas condensate production grew by 1.0 percent last year to reach a new record of 523.3 million tonnes (10.51 million barrels per day).
Russia had established its previous post-Soviet high in 2012 when output stood at 10.40 million barrels per day.
Its post-Soviet low came in 1994 when daily output slumped to 6.0 million barrels - less than half of the 12.4 million barrels Russia and 14 other republics produced as part of the Soviet Union in 1988.
The current output rate outpaces that of Saudi Arabia and clinches for Russia the title of the world's biggest oil producer.
But Russia lacks the quick ability of Saudi Arabia to boost output in case of a global economic rebound or more serious turmoil in the Middle East.
It also appears to be unable to break through any further on large foreign markets to which it has no direct pipeline and that in some cases are starting to depend on US shale oil.
Thursday's figures showed exports outside the former Soviet nations declining by 2.2 percent.
Russia's overall natural gas production rose last year amid stiffer competition for state-owned Gazpom from privately-owned firms such as Novatek and Lukoil.
Total natural gas output rose by 2.1 percent to 668.0 billion cubic metres (23.6 trillion cubic feet).
Gazprom's production was reported at 476.1 billion cubic metres - down from its 2012 figure of 478.8 billion cubic metres and well off its 2011 output of 513.1 billion cubic metres.
The drop reflects the reality that almost all of Gazprom's foreign sales are focused on European and post-Soviet countries now experiencing some of the slowest growth rates in the world.
Gazprom has also been slow to shift its focus to liquefied natural gas (LNG) production that could help it reach the growing markets of Asia and Latin America. - Sapa-AFP