Friday, November 28, 2014

President of Russia

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Gala evening celebrating Gazprom’s 20th anniversary

Vladimir Putin attended a gala evening celebrating Gazprom’s 20th anniversary in the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The President congratulated the company’s current staff and veterans on the anniversary.

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good evening, friends. I am pleased to congratulate you all on the 20th anniversary of Gazprom founding.

I would like to address my sincere, warm words of gratitude first and foremost to the veterans of the industry, all those who were at the forefront of Gazprom and Russia’s gas extraction industry, those who developed deposits in Orenburg and western Siberia, built new towns and laid the first pipeline systems.

Today we will certainly remember Viktor Chernomyrdin and Rem Vyakhirev – it is no exaggeration to say that these were outstanding individuals of our nation, true professionals who have devoted their entire lives to the gas extraction industry, saving it for our country during difficult times, retaining staff, technologies, infrastructure and – this was fundamentally important – assuring the unity, integrity and operating capability of the entire system.

"Gazprom consistently increases its potential, first and foremost in gas extraction: the Zapolyarnoye deposit has been brought to full capacity, a major “blue fuel” extraction centre has been launched in Yamal peninsula, and gas production was launched at the strategically-important Bovanenkovo field."

It is precisely this strong, sound foundation that allowed us to build one of the largest companies in the world, which currently serves as a guarantor of energy security not only for Russia, but for many other countries as well, for your partners.

Gazprom consistently increases its potential, first and foremost in gas extraction: the Zapolyarnoye deposit has been brought to full capacity, a major “blue fuel” extraction centre has been launched in Yamal peninsula, and gas production was launched at the strategically-important Bovanenkovo field.

Overall, the new facilities that have been put into operation in the last 20 years are alone capable of producing 447 billion cubic metres of gas per annum which nearly equals to the yearly gas consumption within Russia.

As for gas transmission, the length increase of Gazprom’s pipeline system over the past two decades is equivalent to the span of the earth’s equator: 40 thousand kilometres.

The first and second lines of Nord Stream have been launched. The construction of South Stream is next in line. The gas infrastructure of Belarus is now fully integrated into the company’s system. I am confident that our Belarusian friends do not regret this. On the contrary, Belarus’ gas supply system has improved, becoming more stable, and its employees have begun to receive good salaries.

Gazprom is an active participant in creating resource potential for developing Siberia and the Far East; it has launched the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok pipeline.

Upcoming plans include building a main gas pipeline from Yakutia (we have named it the Power of Siberia), as well as creating a unified system for supplying gas to the eastern part of our country.

We truly have enormous opportunities and broad powers, and Russia has vested these powers in you, but the responsibility you have thus accepted is colossal as well. Your direct objectives are to maintain the stable function and security of the gas transmission system, to ensure the timely high-quality renewal of capital assets, to grant all market players access to the pipeline.

Of course, it is not enough to ensure uninterrupted export supplies. Let me remind you that our domestic, Russian consumers pay proportionate prices for gas as well, hence they are entitled to uninterrupted gas supplies.

"The length increase of Gazprom’s pipeline system over the past two decades is equivalent to the span of the earth’s equator: 40 thousand kilometres."

The domestic, national market must always remain your priority, as should the interests of our citizens, industries and businesses.

In recent years, three thousand villages and settlements have gained access to gas pipelines, but we should work even more actively in this regard, accelerating and expanding gas connection in the regions. A major share of the work in this respect certainly falls on the regions themselves, but this work and its results largely determine the quality of life in each part of Russia, throughout all of its vast territory.

Friends, Gazprom has always worked for our country and to the benefit of our country, assuring the stability of our economy and generating resources to finance social programmes. Russia will never forget your efforts and your achievements in the 1990s, our country’s most difficult years. Nearly the entire economy was dependent on Gazprom while Gazprom contributed to strengthening our government’s positions on the international arena.

Today, your work for the good of Russia involves more than merely contributing to the state budget to achieve strategic development objectives. Your mission is much broader. Gazprom has many complicated, ambitious projects ahead that should change the balance of forces on the global energy market. These include developing Yamal peninsula and the Arctic shelf fields and broadening Russia’s presence at foreign trade platforms.

Resolving these challenges will require the organisation of new production facilities, implementation of cutting-edge technologies and innovative equipment. As a result, modern jobs should be created, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, including in the production sector. This means that new opportunities will emerge for people to work and create their own businesses.

"Gazprom has always worked for our country and to the benefit of our country, assuring the stability of our economy and generating resources to finance social programmes. "

At the same time, it is important for Gazprom to choose domestic companies as its vendors – vendors that truly supply the best products in the world which meet global standards.""

And another thing. In order to successfully resolve all the tasks before you, you must improve your performance on a daily basis. You must react to changes in the situation quickly and flexibly, detect trends in market development, be able to negotiate with your partners. That is the only way you can maintain your leading position in the global competition, and that competition will only intensify.

It is imperative to consistently eliminate anything that is dragging the company down, impeding its dynamic development, or qualified as cause of ineffectiveness. I am talking, first and foremost, about improving corporate governance, increasing transparency, and minimising expenses.

I am confident that Gazprom will make every effort to increase its global competitiveness, to reach all the objectives before it, to successfully implement all planned projects. Because it is in your nature to be leaders.

You know how to overcome difficulties, to resolve the hardest problems in complicated, and sometimes even harsh conditions, and to do so very well. You will certainly be leaders in all your undertakings. You must do this, and you are capable of resolving such challenges.

I am happy to announce today that a large group of your colleagues, Gazprom team, will be receiving state decorations and honorary titles. High honours will be awarded tomorrow, in a ceremony at the Kremlin.

I congratulate you again on this anniversary and wish you all the best!

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