MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Crude oil production in Russia would hit a record high of about 517 million tons in 2012, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday.
"We expect this year 516-518 million tons of oil (will be produced). This is about 1.2 percent up compared to the last year," Novak told reporters.
Thus, the ministry has revised up its earlier forecast of 514 million tons, Novak said, adding preliminary forecast for 2013 was 510 million tons.
"Our global objective is to keep (oil production) at 505-510 million tons in the middle term," Novak said.
The minister did not rule out that the real figures could be higher if the system of incentives for the oil companies works well.
In October 2011, the Russian government lowered the export taxes on oil companies from 65 to 60 percent of crude oil price. Duties on petroleum export in Russia currently reach prohibitive 90 percent.