Gazprom's Gas Reserves Hit Ten-Year High - 19 March, 2003

In 2002 Gazprom undertook major repairs on 1,370 kilometres of main gas pipelines, which was 5.3% more than planned. In addition, the company replaced 594.4 kilometres of pipes and repaired 183.1 kilometres. This was announced at a meeting of Gazprom's management by Bogdan Budzulyak, the head of the company's department for gas transportation, underground storage, and usage. He said that the capacity of the concern's gas transport network grew by 0.6 billion kilometres last year, and the active volume of underground storage facilities increased by 2 billion cubic metres. In 2002 the company also managed to reduce the number of emergency repairs to gas compressor units by 10%.

Vasily Podyuk, the head of the gas, gas condensate and oil extraction department, said that in 2002 the company's hydrocarbon reserves grew by 535.9 million tonnes of fuel equivalent. 'This is the highest figure for the last ten years,' he said. 'For the first time since 1993 we have almost reached parity between output and growth in gas reserves.' The company's press office also announced that yesterday the company's board had rejected a business plan draw up by Sibur's top management, calling for it to be improved.

Gazprom was established in February 1993. The company is responsible for around 8% of the country's GDP, a quarter of the federal budget's tax receipts, and 8% of Russian industrial output. Gazprom's authorised capital stock totals 118,367,564,500 roubles (USD 3.75 billion) and consists of 23, 673,512,900 shares with a nominal value of 5 roubles (USD 0.16). The Russian government owns 38.37% of the shares, of which 35% belong to the Property Ministry and 3.7% to the Russian Federal Property fund. Foreign shareholders own 11.5% of the shares, Stroitransgaz owns 5.846%, and 44.28% are divided among 500 thousand companies and private shareholders. In 2002 Gazprom extracted over 521 billion cubic metres of gas. Its net profit for the first nine months of 2002 fell by more than half compared to the previous year, and totaled 15.963 billion roubles (USD 505 million).