President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Miller, we meet regularly to discuss various matters, but today I would like to discuss with you something of particular importance for our country with its northern latitudes, namely, preparations for the winter season.
Much of the work has already been completed and it is time to turn on the heating in many regions. We know what a burden the energy sector, especially the big companies, bear during this period. How has Gazprom gone about its preparations this year?
CEO of Gazprom Alexei Miller: Mr President, Gazprom has completed delivery of gas to the underground reservoirs and we have now reached the target figure we set for this year. We currently have 72.1 billion cubic metres of gas in the underground reservoirs for the upcoming winter.
Over the last five years, we have worked specifically to increase the underground reservoirs’ daily capacity and have brought it up by 22 percent over this time. The reservoirs are being put into use now, with the start of the heating season, and their daily capacity comes to 801 million cubic metres a day, which is a record high in our gas industry’s history.
We have carried out 16 sets of planned preventive maintenance and repair sessions in preparation for the winter. The work was completed with success; therefore I can tell you that the unified national gas supply system is ready for the winter season.
Vladimir Putin: Very good. Do you have contracts with the thermal power stations?
Alexei Miller: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: Is everything in order here? Are there any problems?
Alexei Miller: No, there are no problems. We can deliver sufficient supplies to the thermal plants to cover peak energy consumption.
Vladimir Putin: Good. An agreement of great importance for the company was signed in Turkey just recently. How do you assess the prospects for its implementation?
Alexei Miller: Under the intergovernmental agreement, we will build to pipelines along the Black Sea bed to Turkey with a capacity of 31.5 billion cubic metres of gas. The project schedule has both pipelines completed by the end of 2019.
Mr President, taking into account the preparatory work that was done, we have already set up the necessary gas transport infrastructure on the Russian side for delivering gas to the sub-sea pipeline. This will all be ready by the end of this year. Our Turkish colleagues have confirmed all of the permits and the documents that were drafted for the sections that came within Turkey’s exclusive economic zone for the South Stream project. Our Turkish colleagues have confirmed that these permits are equally valid for the Turkish Stream project.
We have already obtained permission to launch front-end engineering on a section within the Turkish economic zone in the Black Sea stretching 250 kilometres from the border of the Turkish and Bulgarian economic zones towards Turkey.
This makes us confident that both pipelines will be built on time, by the end of 2019. One pipeline, with a capacity of 15,750 billion cubic metres, will supply the Turkish market, and the second pipeline, as you know, will deliver gas to European consumers.
The project calls for the construction of a transit infrastructure via Turkey to European countries.
Vladimir Putin: Good.