President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Miller, you wanted to speak of performance in 2017 and plans for 2018. I am listening.
Chairman of Gazprom Management Board Alexei Miller: Mr President, we expect Gazprom to extract 470 billion cubic metres of gas in 2017, which is over 50 billion more than in 2016. That is growth of over 13 percent. At the same time, by the end of the year, Gazprom's production capacities will amount to more than 550 billion cubic metres of gas.
In 2017, Gazprom will supply 5 billion cubic metres more to the domestic market for consumers in such industries as electric power, metallurgy, agrochemistry, and the cement industry.
As for exports, if the trend of the past 11 months continues, and we have exported 13.5 billion more cubic metres of gas compared to the same period in 2016, Gazprom will set an absolute record in gas exports over its entire history – 192 billion cubic metres of gas.
As for the gas infrastructure development programme, this year 1,700 kilometres of gas pipelines and 160 boiler sites will be built, and gas infrastructure will be created in about 76,000 households and apartments and more than 200 towns.
With regard to 2018, we plan to increase funding for the gasification programme by 25 percent next year. The 2018–2019 investment programmes will be the largest in the company's history.
In 2018, investment will amount to 1.28 trillion rubles, and in 2019 1.4 trillion rubles. As you are aware, Mr President, this is related to the peak of investment needs for implementing our most important strategic projects. These projects have a deadline set at late 2019 as per the directive. This includes gas supplies to China along the Eastern route, the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, the development of the Chayandinskoye Field, the construction of the Amur gas processing plant, the commissioning of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in late 2019, and the creation of gas transmission facilities in the Northern corridor, in northwestern Russia, for moving gas from Yamal to consumers in the Russian Federation and exporting it via the Nord Stream.
Even though the company's investments will grow in the next two years, we will definitely maintain a balanced dividend policy. The amount of dividend payments currently amounts to over 190 billion rubles. Despite expanding Gazprom's investment programme, in the short term the dividend payments will remain unchanged at 190 billion rubles.
Thus, within the next two years, Gazprom will completely fulfill its obligations under the main, strategically important investment projects, make good on its obligations to suppliers at home and abroad to supply gas and, of course, meet the demand in full during autumn-winter peak consumption.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Congratulations on the results to you and all Gazprom employees. These are very good results, and a decent amount of growth for both exports and the domestic market. I hope all your plans for 2018 will be implemented. Good luck.