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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Russian cold snap hits BP output
Moscow in January
Russia was hit by a severe cold snap in January
Freezing winter temperatures in Russia have hit production at BP's Russian joint venture in the first three months of the year, the oil giant has said.

Output across BP as a whole hit 4.025 million barrels a day over the quarter, down from 4.101 million a year ago.

Production at the TNK-BP joint venture was 990,000 barrels a day, down from 1.03 million in the previous quarter as a result of disposals and cold weather.

BP added that its refining business had shown signs of improvement.

Although refining margins fell, BP said the business would see performance pick up thanks to a combination of lower costs, fewer refineries closed through maintenance, and its ability to buy better crude oil for the production of petrol and diesel.

Gulf flow

BP said output outside Russia was recovering as oil production came back on stream in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, hurricanes Rita and Katrina battered oil rigs in the region.

BP said the steady return of production from the area meant its output from outside Russia would increase to about 3.035 million barrels a day in the first three months of the year, from 2.995 million in the previous quarter.

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