OAO Tatneft (TATN), Russia's sixth-biggest oil producer, said sales probably rose to about $6 billion last year after production and oil prices increased.
``Sales for 2005 are expected to be approximately 170 billion rubles'' ($6.04 billion), the Almetyevsk, Tatarstan-based company said today through the Regulatory News Service. That would be an increase of 13 percent on the year.
Output rose by ``almost'' 1 percent in 2005, when the company pumped 25.33 million tons of crude (509,000 barrels a day), the statement said.
Production growth at Tatneft, which operates heavily depleted oil fields, has lagged behind the Russian average, with output of about 500,000 barrels a day for about five years.
Rising demand and hurricanes lifted oil prices last year. The price of a barrel of crude surged to a record $70.85 on the New York Mercantile Exchange in August, when Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Tatneft may raise its 2005 dividend payout to 20 percent of net income, Interfax reported today, citing Tatarstan Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, who is also the company's board chairman.
The government of Russia's Tatarstan republic, which owned 36 percent of the company's voting shares at the beginning of last year, will recommend shareholders approve the increased payout, Interfax said.
Tatneft paid interim dividends for the first nine months of 2004 of 0.67 rubles per common share and 1 ruble per preferred share and shareholders approved an additional dividends for 2004 of 0.23 rubles per share, Interfax said, without saying what percentage that was of profit.
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