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6

Russia Increases Oil, Gas Export To The US

Russia will expand oil and natural gas output and export and expects to ship 50 million tons of oil

Russia will expand oil and natural gas output and export and expects to ship 50 million tons of oil to ship 50 million tons of oil annually to the United States, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

"We will step up the extraction of oil and gas, increase energyexports and expand cooperation with the leading companies, including US ones, on our continental territory, on the Barents Sea shelf, on the Sakhalin Island and other territories," Putin told a delegation of leading US businessmen in St. Petersburg, the Interfax news agency reported.

A joint report by Russian and US energy and economy officials, which is expected to be finalized by the end of this month, will present "specific projects on selling Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States, increasing Russian oil exports through developing new deposits and boosting its transport infrastructure," Putin said.

Under those plans, "the United States, without additional investment, could import 50 million tons of Russian oil every year," Putin said.

Russia announced plans in October to ship 37 million tons of LNG to a terminal in Mexico over the 20 years starting 2008 as part of an arrangement to channel LNG from the Sakhalin island in Russia's Far East to the United States.