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MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Russia's largest independent gas producer Novatek plans to maintain gas production in 2016 at the level of 2015, the company’s CEO Leonid Mikhelson said on Friday.
"Roughly the same level (the level of 2015 - TASS)," he said, responding to a question.
In 2015 Novatek gas output surged by 9.3% year-on-year to 67.91 bln cubic meters.
According to the official, the company requires $18-19 bln to implement the Yamal LNG project.
"We need external financing of about $18-19 bln, considering already raised funds," Mikhelson said.
Novatek sees no reason for the delays with attracting external funding for Yamal LNG project.
"We did not delay funding for Yamal LNG even for one day, and there will be no delays," he said.
"There are absolutely no doubts that the necessary amount of external funding will be attracted in the near future," he added.
The company plans to complete external financing of the Yamal LNG projects in coming months, Mikhelson said earlier in March.
Novatek’s shareholders have approved raising loans from Sberbank and Gazprombank in the amount of €3.6 bln for the Yamal LNG project.
The loan is extended for the period up to 16 years with the floating interest rate linked to Euribor.
It was reported earlier capital expenditures under the Yamal LNG project would amount to $27 bln.
The shareholders have also approved the final dividend payment for 2015 in the amount of 6.9 rubles per share, in the total amount of 20.95 bln rubles ($316.51 mln).
Yamal LNG is a large scale project on creating a liquefied natural gas production facility with 16.5 mln tonnes per year capacity. The project involves the creation of transport infrastructure, including a seaport and an airport near the Sabetta village (north-east of the Yamal Peninsula).
The company’s shareholders are Russia’s gas company Novatek - 50.1%, France’s Total - 20%, China’s CNPC - 20% and the Silk Road Fund - 9.9%.