Russian gas production to advance next year

According to 'The Forecast of Economic and Social Development of theRussian Federation in 2003 and Main Parameters throughout 2005' prepared bythe Economy Ministry for today's government meeting, the volume of gasproduction in Russia in 2003 will be from 600bn to 615bn cubic meters,which is from 104 percent to 107.2 percent of the planned gas production in2002. The implementation of the planned investment projects will enableRussia to increase its gas production by 4 percent to 7 percent in 2005compared to the volume of the year 2001, the Ministry states in thedocument. At the same time the main factors that hinder this process arethe unsatisfactory condition of the raw material base, a decrease in thevolume of exploration activities, non-payments of gas consumers andrelatively low gas prices on the domestic market.According to the report, the main directions of the restructuring of thegas industry are the improvement of organizational structure and thecreation of conditions for the development of gas market. In the report theMinistry also speaks in favor of the implementation of the activeinvestment policy and an increase in the volume of capital investments atthe cost of revenues from gas exports. The main investment projects,according to the document, are the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 gasexploration projects, exploration of gas fields in the Yamal peninsular, inthe Tyumen region and in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)..