Gazprom intends to break records on investments next year

The company plans to spend 1.2 trillion rubles on projects.
Following the unprecedented growth in exports, Gazprom can deliver another absolute record. For the first time in its history, the company prepared a draft investment program, the cost of which already in the original version will exceed 1 trillion rubles. In the draft budget of Gazprom for 2018, it allocated more than 1.2 trillion rubles, Interfax reported, citing a source familiar with the company's plans. Compared to the base program of 2017, it increased by one third. "The main growth in comparison with the original plan of the last year will be for several projects: the development of the Chayandinskoye field and the construction of the" Siberian Power ", the development of gas transmission networks in the North-West region, the projects for ensuring peak balance and the construction of the Turkish flow," Vedomosti " official representative of Gazprom. The exact amount of investment in the company, he did not specify. The Gazprom Management Committee will consider the project on Thursday, November 23.

To send a trillion rubles or more to their projects during the year is not the first time Gazprom has been doing it. In 2017, the investment program, adjusted for the first half of the year, was 1,129 trillion rubles. In addition, the company has consistently crossed the psychological mark in 2013-2015. (see the graph). But each time this was the result of adjustments to the already approved program of capital investments. As a rule, the base variant is then increased by 25% or more (with the exception of 13% in 2016). Beginning in 2012, Gazprom's investment program has not diminished.

The size of Gazprom's investments is steadily growing every year - starting in 2013, when the company began implementing several large pipe projects. In the east of Russia preparations began for the construction of the export pipeline "The Power of Siberia", in the west it was planned to build a "South Stream". After the project of the pipe to Bulgaria was frozen, it was replaced by "Turkish Stream" and "Nord Stream-2". To build the second, Gazprom needed to increase the throughput capacity of its main pipelines in the north-west.

In absolute figures, Gazprom's largest expenditure in 2017 was for the construction of a pipe to China. The contract with the Chinese CNPC for the supply of up to 38 billion cubic meters. m per year the company signed in May 2014, and in September of the same year began construction of the gas pipeline. "Gazprom" was to introduce the "Power of Siberia" into operation no later than May 2021, but this summer the companies agreed on the exact timing of the start of deliveries. "As part of the negotiations, an agreement was signed between Gazprom and our Chinese partner CNPC on the date of the beginning of gas supplies for the" Force of Siberia. " This is December 20, 2019, "- said on July 4, the company's CEO Alexei Miller. Gazprom said that the construction of the gas pipeline will be accelerated and by the end of the year, instead of the planned 1,100 km, more than 1,300 km of the pipeline will be built. Initially, Gazprom planned to allocate 223 billion rubles for the construction of the pipeline and the preparations for the commissioning of the Chayandinskoye field, which will become the resource base for deliveries to China. As a result of the adjustment, investments in them increased by an additional amount of about 60 billion rubles, reported the representative of Gazprom Sergei Kupriyanov. In addition, about 50 billion rubles. "Gazprom" added to the construction of the "Turkish flow" (plan for 2017 - 41.9 billion rubles.) And a little less than 20 billion rubles. on the expansion of the pipeline Ukhta-Torzhok.

Priority in terms of investment in 2018 for Gazprom will remain the basic infrastructure projects, expects Moody's vice president Denis Perevezentsev. "The Force of Siberia, like two new pipeline projects for gas export to Europe, has strict deadlines. Until the end of 2019 they must be completed. This explains the possible growth of the capital investment program. I do not exclude that it can be increased even more in the first half of the year, "he said.

The possible increase in the investment program is primarily due to infrastructure projects, says Dmitri Marinchenko, Director of Fitch Corporation. "By putting such a cap on the budget, Gazprom is insured in some way, because the issue of project financing for Nord Stream-2 has not yet been resolved. It is possible that the main burden will have to be borne by the company itself. This will require additional borrowing, "said Marinchenko. The opportunity to borrow money, including in the European market, from Gazprom, is, says the expert. "In addition, this size of the investment program could become a trump card for Gazprom, when the question of the amount of dividends and the reduction of the tax burden on the company will arise again," Marinchenko supposes.