Soviet Oil Output at ‘75 Level, Official Estimates

From Reuters

The Soviet Union’s acting oil minister said Friday he believed that Soviet oil output had stabilized after a sharp drop, but his estimate would put this year’s output at the lowest since the mid-1970s.

Vagit Alekperov, acting minister of the oil and gas industry, told the Tass news agency that the world’s biggest producer is pumping 3.5 billion barrels this year, the smallest output since 1975.

He also said the Soviet government had to stop subsidizing the industry and let oil prices rise to their natural level.

The Soviet Union’s output has plummeted partly because of 22,000 wells out of service due to lack of equipment, Alekperov said.