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Monday, November 24, 2008

Gazprom's oil arm to keep refining at 207 mln bbls in 2009

MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, said on Monday it planned to keep oil refining at 28.3 million metric tons (207 mln bbls) in 2009 to match this year's level. "Under the downstream business plan, oil refining by Gazprom Neft will total 28.3 million tons in 2008. As for 2009, no significant increase in refining volumes is planned," said Anatoly Cherner, Gazprom Neft deputy general director. The company increased oil refining 7.3% year-on-year in 2007 to 26.15 million metric tons (192 mln bbls). Compared with 2007, Gazprom Neft's oil refining will grow 8.2% in 2008. Commenting on Gazprom Neft's earlier-announced strategic plans to boost oil refining to 60-70 million metric tons (440-513 mln bbls) by 2020, Cherner said the company was currently capable of reaching refining volumes of 30 million metric tons (220 mln bbls). He said Gazprom Neft was planning to acquire a 51% stake in the Serbian NIS oil company, which also has considerable refining capacity. Gazprom Neft, known as Sibneft before it was taken over by Gazprom in September 2005, produced 32.7 million metric tons (240 million barrels) of crude and posted a US GAAP net income of $4.14 billion in 2007. Cherner also said Gazprom Neft planned to supply 1.2 million metric tons (8.8 mln bbls) of crude to China in 2009. "As for crude supplies to China, we have an agreement with China Oil [a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation] for 2009 on the supply of 1.2 million tons via Kazakhstan," Cherner said. The Gazprom Neft official said the company planned to increase crude supplies to China in the future, both via Kazakhstan and through the East Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline.

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