Speech by Alexey Miller at pre-holiday conference call
On behalf of the Gazprom Management Committee and my personal behalf, I would like to congratulate all the subsidiary companies’ heads, employees and gas industry veterans on the coming New Year and Christmas!
The expiring year was rather hard for the global and domestic economies. Nevertheless, under the conditions of the global economic crisis our Company demonstrated high reliability, relevant flexibility and ability to promptly respond to market challenges.We steadily progressed towards our main goal – achieving the leadership position on the global energy market.
2009 will figure in Gazprom’s history and the entire Russian gas industry due to the startup of the first Russian LNG plant and of the Russian LNG exports.
Intensive efforts were also taken on the projects for gas transmission facilities construction to supply the traditional pipeline gas to our European consumers. This refers to such projects as the Nord Stream and the South Stream.This year the Nord Stream AG obtained almost all the necessary permits for the Nord Stream pipeline construction, and the coming year of 2010 will see the practical implementation of this project strategically important to Russia.
Gazprom has made great progress in the South Stream project execution. Agreements were inked for the construction of the gas pipeline and for natural gas transmission via Hungary, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Slovenia. In addition, the permit was obtained to perform offshore surveying along the gas pipeline route in the Turkish economic zone.
The Nord Stream and the South Stream will strongly reinforce the European energy security, reduce transit risks and help avoid the anticipated gas deficit in future. It should be noted that the studies conducted by Gazprom demonstrate beyond doubt that the trend towards larger gas demand will be retained in the long run.
As far as the issue of transit risks reduction is concerned, Gazprom approached it with due regard to the major gas export route to Europe, which is currently the most important one – Ukraine. As you remember, the hard conflict of January 2009 was finalized by signing long-term 11-year market contracts for natural gas supply and transit.
The complicated 2009 was the year of intensive gas trunklines development. I’ll mention the major ones.
The Dzuarikau – Tskhinval gas pipeline was put onstream. This thoroughfare is vitally important for the South Ossetia.
The construction of the Dzhubga – Lazarevskoye – Sochi gas pipeline was commenced in the Krasnodar Krai. This is a considerable contribution of Gazprom into the preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The first string of the most difficult section of the Bovanenkovo – Ukhta gas trunkline system was laid – the underwater crossing via the Baidarata Bay.
In 2009 we continued shaping the gas industry in Eastern Russia.
In particular, construction of the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok gas transmission system started. It should be noted that the gas transmission system creation in the Russian East is a most crucial part of the nation-wide efforts aimed at socio-economic development of this strategically important region.
In the expiring year our Company continued implementation of another large-scale project – Gasification of the Russian Federation Regions, which is important for the entire country. In 2009 Gazprom allocated over RUB 19.3 billion to gasify 69 Russian Regions. These funds were used to supply natural gas to hundreds of population centers.The great work done by Gazprom to gasify Russian regions helped raise the average gasification level from 54.2 per cent in 2005 when the program started to 63.2 per cent as of today.
Dear colleagues! These figures mean that our fellow citizens could improve their living conditions due to natural gas utilization and, primarily, in the rural area.
In 2010 Gazprom will proceed with this socially significant project and we will earmark more funds for the gasification program.
In the expiring year Gazprom successfully developed its oil and power sectors. In spite of the country-wide trend toward oil production drop, our subsidiary company Gazprom neft increased its production rates, while in the power generation sector Gazprom is the largest and most efficient Russian investor.
The financial and economic crisis did not prevent us from making another confident step on the way to Gazprom’s development, thus transforming it into the leading global energy company. This is especially important as Gazprom’s activities strongly influence Russia’s socio-economic development and, therefore, the wellbeing of the Russian citizens.
Dear colleagues! I would like to thank you for your diligent and committed work for the benefit of the Company. We say ‘goodbye’ to the old year in satisfaction with the work done and ‘hello’ to the new one in hope for a better future. Let this year bring you fulfillment of your dearest wishes, most daring plans and ideas. I wish robust health, happiness and prosperity to you and your families!