President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Alekperov, how did you finish the year?
LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov: The year was quite successful.
Vladimir Putin: I can see that both the extraction and processing grew a little.
Vagit Alekperov: Yes, the year was a success in all aspects: both in terms of production and social projects.
Vladimir Putin: What is the average wage in the company?
Vagit Alekperov: We have operations in the Arctic, the average exceeds 65,000 rubles. The average, because we have the south, too.
The main thing is that we have set a record: 1.3 trillion rubles paid in taxes.
Vladimir Putin: Paid to the budget. Different forms. You paid 5.5 trillion over five years.
Vagit Alekperov: We are currently drafting a new development strategy, and investments in the next ten years may exceed $100 billion, above all investment in Russian projects.
We continue our economic development in the Caspian region. We are launching an active exploration of the Baltic shelf. We have adopted a new programme to develop the petrochemical sector at our current enterprises so that all ‘tails’, all half stuff are joined together to create final products with export potential.
Vladimir Putin: I remember your plant in the Caspian region, which is excellent, of course. Is it developing?
Vagit Alekperov: Yes, we are proud of this plant; all the stages are here in the presentation. We have the Baltics, the Caspian Sea and our new facilities here. (Shows the presentation.) As you can see, the self-elevating units are here, and this is where the wellhead platform will be built. It will be small; it stands here, a drilling station moves over it, drills a well and moves away. All of this is done automatically, it is an unmanned technology. Everything is under control and operating: we now have the third line of the Filanovsky field, the project you launched. This is a new generation of platforms that do not need to be manned.
Vladimir Putin: What are the depths there?
Vagit Alekperov: About 25 metres, but we can work at 800 metres or even 1,200 in West Africa.
I would like to note the unique window of opportunity that opened up after the summit in Sochi you held with African countries. In fact, we are beginning to actively work in West Africa: we have started working in three countries and another four have offered to launch joint work. This is unprecedented.
This summit gave an impetus to Russian companies to work in one of the most promising markets: West Africa.
Vladimir Putin: I really liked our African colleagues’ attitude. This was a surprise: no one asked for anything, only for collaboration.
Vagit Alekperov: We can feel it. It would be good to repeat it after some time, because this is such a great support for us, Mr President. Today, it is not just a declaration but these are real projects: in the Republic of the Congo, in Ghana, we are now looking at a number of other countries, and Cameroon today. They know us, they want to work with us, and they want to communicate with us.
I also would like to demonstrate our social projects. We decided to build a unique research centre. We restored the Oil pavilion at VDNKh. Most importantly, we made it popular: both schoolchildren and university students go there and see what various products are made of.
A branch of Perm National Research Polytechnic University is currently under construction in Western Siberia. Undergraduate admission is already underway, so that by the time it opens it will be third-year students that move to Western Siberia.
We combined our research and technology institute, which does the design work, and Perm University. We created a common structure. Here, students not only study, but also work, receive money for this, and create real projects.
Vladimir Putin: In Kogalym?
Vagit Alekperov: Yes. That means we won’t be losing these two or three years, when after the graduation we will need to re-train people and teach them how to work.
Vladimir Putin: We always talk about it. The fact that you are implementing it is great.
Vagit Alekperov: They are implementing projects themselves, all projects.
And at VDNKh, there is a children's town that has drilling platforms and an oil refinery, and it is very popular.
Vladimir Putin: Do children like it?
Vagit Alekperov: Yes, they do.
Following your instruction, we launched the Maly Theatre [branch of the State Academic Maly Theatre].
Vladimir Putin: Has it opened already?
Vagit Alekperov: We started with two days a week, Saturday and Sunday. Today it is open four days a week. People come from Surgut, Noyabrsk, Langepas, Pokachi; there is full house four days a week. On Sundays, they have performances for children.
Also, we have agreed, we have signed an agreement that the Russian Museum will join this programme too; we are preparing the premises, because after all these are single-industry towns, and today there is demand for more culture.
I would like to invite you to visit Kogalym, to hold a meeting there on the development of single-industry towns, on the relationship between large corporations and regional authorities using the example of a single-industry town in Western Siberia. There is a lot to be proud of there.
Vladimir Putin: I accept your invitation.