MOSCOW, April 4 — Russian oil producer Lukoil said Monday its full-year 2015 profit was down more than 20 percent from the previous year, though total output increased.
Lukoil, the No. 2 oil producer in Russia, reported total petroleum productionincreased 2.8 percent to reach 2.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Crude oil production for the Russian company increased 3.6 percent from 2014, largely in part because of increased output from the West Qurna project in Iraq.
Russia is among the major oil producing nations calling for a freeze in output to reduce negative pressure on crude oil prices, which last week erased most of their gains for the year.
Lower crude oil prices have harmed oil-exporting economies like Russia’s. Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and top executive at Russian oil company Rosneft, said a gain in 2015 net profits and the decline in debt meant it was performing well against a weak market backdrop.
With a government stake in Rosneft, Putin said the Kremlin was keeping a close on the energy sector strains brought on by lower crude oil prices. Crude oil prices are lower in part because supplies far outweigh global demand.
Lukoil reported 2015 net income at $4.3 billion, a 26 percent decline from the previous year.
The Kremlin has mulled privatization options for the state-controlled energy sector. Last month, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the potential exists to unload the entire government share in state oil company Bashneft.