A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Gazprom's Management Committee Chairman and Alexey Chernyshov, Head of the Orenburg Region's Administration was held today at Gazprom's Headquarters.
The meeting addressed the progress in implementing the Cooperation Agreement adopted between Gazprom and the Orenburg Region's Administration. In particular, the parties discussed expansion of gas deliveries in the Orenburg Region.
The parties paid special attention to the issue of the Regional consumers' gas debt repayments. Based on the discussion outcomes, the meeting decided to advise the Orenburg Region's authorities to step up urgent measures aimed at reducung the Regional gas debt and observing the gas payment discipline.
Gazprom and the Orenburg Region signed the Cooperation Agreement in 2000. While implementing the Agreement, the parties managed to reduce the Regional consumers' gas debt from RUR 939.4 million (as of 1 January 2001) down to RUR 163.5 million (as of 1 January 2003). In 2003, however, the Orenburg Region's gas debt grew more than 2fold to RUR 344 million. From January to March 2004, gas debt rose another RUR 208 million and, as of 1 April 2004, amounted to RUR 553 million, with the population and residential sector being the largest debtors.
Last year, Gazprom provided the Orenburg Region with over 8.5 bcm of gas, to be increased to more than 8.7 bcm, this year.
As of 1 January 2004, the Orenburg Region's gas supply infrastructure was developed at 96.6%, up on the average parameters throughout Russia and the Volga Federal District. In 2003, Gazprom allocated RUR 80 million for intensifying gas consumption in the Orenburg Region. This year, the Company plans to channel over RUR 70 million for these purposes, with RUR 89.8 million to be alloted by the Orenburg Region's Administration and RUR 9.98 million, by municipal authorities.
DIVISION OF RELATIONS WITH MASS MEDIA