|Vladimir Putin and Alexey Miller. Photo by www.kremlin.ru|
A working meeting took place today between Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.
The meeting explored, among other things, Gazprom’s efforts to expand its resource base, including within the Tambey group of fields in the Yamal Peninsula.
Alexey Miller informed Vladimir Putin of the continuing growth in Russian gas supplies to Europe and the readiness to start laying the offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline within a few days.
Vladimir Putin: Mr. Miller, we wanted to discuss certain major projects, and as you said, you have some information on the reserves, namely the significant expansion thereof.
Alexey Miller: Indeed. As of January 1, 2017, Gazprom’s explored gas reserves amounted to 36.4 trillion cubic meters. Every year since 2005, the Company’s reserve replacement ratio in relation to annual production has been greater than unity.
Our geological exploration activities are focused on Russia’s Far East, Eastern Siberia, and offshore areas in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Barents and Kara Seas, with a priority on our new production region, i.e. the Yamal Peninsula.
Gazprom carried out comprehensive geological exploration across the Tambey group of fields, performed 3D seismic surveys throughout a 2,650-kilometer area, and drilled 14 prospecting and exploratory wells, which resulted in the addition of 4.1 trillion cubic meters of gas to the Company’s reserves. Overall, there is a total of 6.7 trillion cubic meters of gas in the Tambey cluster.
Vladimir Putin: When did you come to that conclusion about reserve additions?
Alexey Miller: Quite recently, Mr. President, based on the results of geological exploration…
Vladimir Putin: What is the exact timeframe for those areas?
Alexey Miller: We have worked there since 2008.
Vladimir Putin: And now you have proof, don’t you?
Alexey Miller: Yes, we do.
Vladimir Putin: Please accept my congratulations on this crucial piece of information and, I might add, crucial development in the Russian energy industry at large. I think it is very important not only to us – within the Russian Federation – but also to our partners.
I would like to request that you present proposals on what to do with those new reserves; please, however, take into account at least two major considerations.
Firstly, when attracting partners, keep in mind that they can mobilize the required financial resources on their own to work on joint projects, should the need for that arise.
Secondly, please use the domestic sci-tech and industrial capabilities as much as possible. The more independence we have in that field, the better. That, of course, would have to bolster the high-tech sector of our economy. Gazprom could play a significant, substantial role in that regard.
Alexey Miller: Mr. President, without a doubt, this considerable increase in reserves allows Gazprom to consider new projects in the gas liquefaction, gas processing, and petrochemical industries.
Moreover, a number of fields in the Tambey group contain the so-called wet gas known for its high ethane content, and advanced processing of wet gas components will certainly increase the cost-effectiveness of development of all reserves within the Tambey group.
Of course, projects of this kind are always capital-intensive and technologically sophisticated, and the widespread international approach to implementing such projects is to attract partner companies in order to mitigate risks.
Gazprom is ready to consider the possibility of creating joint ventures. Of course, we will primarily focus on engaging Russian companies that already have competencies in gas liquefaction and experience in working with wet gas reserves.
Vladimir Putin: Very good. What about your major projects?
Alexey Miller: Mr. President, as for our gas transmission projects focused on delivering gas to Europe, I must say that Russian gas supplies to the European market continue to grow.
Since early 2017, gas supplies to the European market have added 15 per cent compared to the same period of 2016. In absolute terms, this figure translates into 8.6 billion cubic meters of gas in addition to the last year’s amount.
Such an increase in demand undoubtedly reaffirms our plans and commitments for new major gas transmission projects, specifically the TurkStream project. As of now, we have completed all preparation and mobilization work and I am reporting to you that we are ready to start offshore pipe-laying for the TurkStream gas pipeline within a few days.
Vladimir Putin: Very good. Yesterday, we discussed that project with our Turkish colleagues. I am sure that our Turkish partners will provide effective support.
The work must be commenced and we will see how it goes. Please get started.
Alexey Miller: Yes, Mr. President.