Gazprom has a clearly outlined goal-setting system. Among our goals is the annual replenishment of the resource base. Thanks to geological exploration activities, our reserve replacement ratio consistently exceeds 1. It has been like this for the past 15 years, and it will remain so in 2020. Yamal accounts for the bulk of the new reserves. This year has already seen a discovery of another major field in the region, which we named 75 Years of Victory.
At present, Gazprom’s investment activity is primarily focused on Yamal and the East. In Yamal, we continue the pre-development of the Kharasaveyskoye field: in June, as planned, we started production drilling there. Recently, we began building a comprehensive gas treatment unit. We welded and laid one-fifth of the connecting gas pipeline to Bovanenkovo. As early as 2023, first gas from the field will be fed into the Unified Gas Supply System.
We have a very heavy workload at the Kovyktinskoye field in the Irkutsk Region. We continue to build wells. This year, we are starting to construct the first CGTU and the section of Power of Siberia stretching from Kovyktinskoye to the Chayandinskoye field.
Active work is being done at the Sakhalin gas production center: this year, two wells will be hooked up at the Kirinskoye field.
As our geographic reach keeps expanding, the gas we are extracting keeps changing in composition. We are producing increasingly more multi-component, ethane-containing gas. This refers to not only the new eastern fields – Chayandinskoye and Kovyktinskoye – but also the deeper-lying deposits in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region of Western Siberia.
This is the tangible reason for the significant enhancement of our processing activities. In the East, we are building the Amur Gas Processing Plant. In the West, we are constructing the complex in Ust-Luga. These facilities will be among the largest in the world. Moreover, the Amur GPP will be the biggest global producer of helium, while the complex in Ust-Luga will have the largest output of liquefied natural gas in Northwestern Europe. And, of course, processing generates added value, which means a sizable additional monetary flow.
As regards our work in the European market, we continue providing reliable gas deliveries to our consumers. We hold our position as the largest exporter there. The period the gas market is going through today is not an easy one. There are difficulties for all of its participants, but we have a larger reserve to withstand any challenges. Gazprom has a whole range of significant advantages, such as a robust resource base, a well-balanced trading portfolio, along with flexible conditions of supplies and modern tools for trading. That is why we step up our cooperation activities even at this time; for instance, we have just signed a new long-term contract for gas supplies to Greece.
Speaking of the financial situation, Gazprom maintains a high level of stability and reliability. By the beginning of this year, we accumulated a significant liquidity cushion amounting to over USD 22 billion across the Group. Investors show a great deal of trust in us; this year, we placed two issues of bonds in US dollars and euro, and two ruble bonds, all of them on very favorable terms. On Monday, we are going to close one more deal in US dollars.
According to all of the “Big Three” international agencies, i.e. S&P, Moody’s and Fitch, Gazprom’s long-term credit ratings remain unchanged, whereas the ratings or the rating outlooks for many foreign oil and gas companies have been lowered by at least one of those agencies.
By the way, a decline in gas demand is not a universal trend for foreign markets. For instance, China is continuously ramping up both gas consumption and gas imports.