Gazprom’s board of directors on Jan. 24 addressed proposals to expand Gazprom’s presence in global natural gas markets via exploration, production, pipelines, LNG and power generation.

The board directed the Management Committee to proceed with five key measures to achieve inroads in global markets: 1) expand the existing corridors and create new ones for pipeline gas export to Europe; 2) arrange pipeline gas supplies to Asia-Pacific countries; 3) enhance the export portfolio with additional volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be delivered, inter alia, from the Shtokman project as well as from potential LNG plants in the Far East; 4) develop opportunities for delivering LNG and compressed natural gas abroad; and 5) select and implement power generation projects in Europe.

In his end-of-year address on Dec. 29, Alexey Miller , chairman, Gazprom Management Committee, pointed to the company’s achievements in 2011 with emphasis on pipeline projects at both ends of the country.

The first string of the Nord Stream pipeline in western Russia was commissioned, opening up a new route to Europe through Germany.  In eastern Russia, the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok Gas Transmission System was completed, which will be the first interregional system in the Far East for Russia.  The system “triggered the large-scale gasification of Russia’s Far East and created conditions for gas supplies to Asia-Pacific,” Miller said.

In 2012, construction will begin on the Yakutia-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok pipeline.

“The year of 2011 became an important stage in the history of Gazprom as a global energy company,” he continued.  “In 2012, we will carry on our major efforts.  It is planned to commission the Bovanenkovskoye field as part of the Yamal megaproject, start oil production from the Prirazlomnoye field and complete construction of Nord Stream’s second string.”

One of the biggest projects to start in 2012 will be the South Stream Pipeline, which will run through the Black Sea to southern Europe.  On Jan. 20, 2012, Gazprom announced a detailed action plan was approved that would make it possible to start the project in December 2012, instead of in 2013.

“We have everything in place to significantly expedite the previously announced date of the South Stream construction launch,” Miller explained.  “We have a regulatory basis, great interest in the project from its participants in Europe, the required funds and the unique track record of delivering large-scale, gas-transmission projects offshore.”

Partners in the project are Gazprom, 50%, ENI, 20%, Wintershall Holding