29 Dec 2009 11:03

Crude oil is bigger earner for Russia than petroleum - Putin

VLADIVOSTOK. Dec 29 (Interfax) - Crude oil exports are bringing larger profits than exports of petroleum products, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told journalists in Vladivostok on Tuesday.

"We need to build and create what is profitable. Oil sales are bringing greater profits today," he said.

Projects aimed at building new refineries should be fine-tuned, Putin added.

Crude oil is now sold at a higher price than petroleum products, the manufacturing of which entails certain costs, the prime minister said.

"These are distorted economic realities," he added.

However, as far as strategies are concerned, there is a need to build new refineries in Russian territory, Putin said.

"But today this strategy runs into conflict with economic logic. We need to analyze and to give preliminary assessments of what we should build, where and whom all this can be sold to," the prime minister said.

This analysis should precede all decisions regarding the construction of new such facilities, including the Primorye refinery on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, he said.