Lukoil kept its unconventional oil projects in Russia running at full steam in the first quarter despite last year’s cancellation of tax privileges that the government had previously granted to make these expensive projects commercially competitive.

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Output at two projects in the north of the country — Yaregskoye and Usinskoye, targeting high viscosity heavy oil — remained almost unchanged at 95,000 barrels per day between January and March as against the average rate last year, the privately held oil giant said in its first-quarter presentation on Thursday.