In 2011 the average interest rate on loans was reduced from 3.96% to 3.34%, and the average repayment period increased from 2.1 to 2.75 years. Long-term loans now make up 84% of the total debt portfolio. At the year-end the ratio of consolidated net debt to consolidated EBITDA has dropped to 0.89.
The Board approved Gazprom Neft’s investment program for 2012 and the Company budget, formed in view of approved strategic objectives, including the growth of business in production, processing and marketing and expansion of the Company's geography, while at the same time maintaining efficiency and ensuring the highest possible gross income for the shareholders.
In 2011 Gazprom Neft increased the investment volume by 15% compared to the previous year, to a total of 150.9 billion roubles. In 2011 Gazprom Neft has shown a high rate of production growth by increasing this figure by over 7% to 57.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The refining throughput has increased by 4% and reached 39.6 million tonnes. The sales of petroleum products through premium distribution channels have gone up by 20% to 17.4 million tonnes. The Company has been showing some of the industry’s best indicators of EBITDA, operational cash flow per barrel of oil equivalent and internal rate of return.
The company plans to maintain a high level of investment in 2012. One of the major tasks faced by Gazprom Neft will be to ensure production growth in the long term through the development of new deposits in the Orenburg Oblast and the implementation of projects on the Novoportovskoye and Messoyakhskoye oil fields. By 2020 the projected hydrocarbon production from these deposits will amount to over 20 million tons of oil equivalent. The Company will also continue to implement its various projects overseas. In 2012 Gazprom Neft's production will grow by over 4%, reaching a total of 59.6 million tons of hydrocarbons per year.
An important short-term objective is further improvement of motor fuels quality. For instance, in 2012 a gasoline and diesel fuels hydrotreatment plant will be put into operation at the Omsk refinery, following which the entire volume of motor fuels produced at the facility will comply with environmental classes 4 and 5. A program aimed at improving the quality of fuels is also in operation at the Moscow refinery. Between 2012 and 2014 over 25 billion roubles will be invested into these two programs. One of the Company’s priorities is development of high-margin sales channels for petroleum products, creation of the Company’s own network of bunkering terminals and expansion of the network of refuelling facilities at airports across Russia.
The Board of Directors was informed about the prospects for developing the Company's network of filling stations in the markets of the Central Asian region of the CIS. Gazprom Neft already leads the fuel retail segment in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and plans to increase its presence in these markets. The Company also plans to increase its presence in the retail market of Kazakhstan up to 6% by 2020.
Alexei Miller, the Chairman of Gazprom Neft’s Board of Directors, stated:
“This passing year has been record setting for the Company’s financial and operational performance. Today, Gazprom Neft is the leader in the rate of production and is showing the steady growth in petroleum processing. The results we obtained have allowed us today to adapt a large-scale investment program for 2012, which will let us set even higher records in petroleum production and continue the all-round upgrade of the Company's refining assets. All of this will give an additional value to the products across the Company’s entire production chain.”