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President of Transneft: The Most Important Part is to Ensure Reliable Operation of the System and Protect Personnel Health in Times of Epidemic

Date of publication: 20 April 2020

Mr. Nikolay Tokarev reappointed as President of Transneft for another 5 years told Interfax about the Company’s operations in times of COVID-19 and production contraction.

The government has entrusted Mr. Tokarev with administration of the pipeline monopoly transporting more than 80% of crude oil produced in Russia for another five years. Since the time when Mr. Tokarev first headed the Company in 2007, Transneft has completed the construction of major oil pipeline projects, such as the ESPO, BPS-2, the Zapolyarye - Purpe and the Kuyumba - Tayshet. Last year, the Company had to deal with a force majeure situation at the Druzhba OTP; this year it faces another challenge, which is the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Tokarev shared his vision of the Company’s future in his short interview for Interfax.

“Mr. Tokarev, you took charge of Transneft in October 2007, and now the term of your office has been extended by another five years. What does this mean for you?”

“For me this means, first of all, that the national leadership highly appreciates the effort of the entire Transneft team.”

“What is the main result of your work during this period?”

“Building a professional team. We’ve been able to achieve well-known results with this team of like-minded people. These include 19,000 km of new pipelines, new large tank farms having the capacity nearing 3 million tonnes, the new seaports of Kozmino and Ust-Luga, five railway terminals, digitisation and modernisation meeting world standards, general diversification of export routes ensuring the energy security of the nation.”

“Your Company has always had its share of criticism; will its operational principles be changing?”

“We are susceptive to sound criticism, but let’s not confuse it with ‘mudslinging’. Problems inevitably arise when you administer a large company such as Transneft. However, the strength of our team is that we successfully address any problem, moving ahead and constantly improving our work.”

“What are the plans of Transneft for the near future?”

“The most important part now is ensuring reliable operation of the system and protecting human health in times of this unprecedented epidemic.”

“What problems have to be addressed in the wake of agreements reached with OPEC regarding reduction in oil production?”

“We keep in touch with the Energy Ministry and oil companies to minimise the costs involved in changing the plans of crude oil and petroleum products output. It is necessary to maintain the Company’s financial stability, and for this reason we’ll continue investing our effort in raising our operational efficiency and cutting our costs.”

“Is there anything you’d like to change in Transneft? What’s your vision of the Company in 10 or maybe 50 years from now?”

“You know, the history of our Company is consonant with our national history. We inherited large but run-down assets from the Soviet Union. Not only did we put them into shape and modernised; we expanded this business, having launched new strategic lines of work. Our purpose is preserving the style of our Company’s development: modern, dynamic and effective.

Yet Transneft is not only about the pipes. It’s above all about our employees and their families.  And I’d like us to remain a company allowing self-fulfillment for all in both 10 and 50 years from now. This is how I perceive my mission as the person at the steering wheel of Transneft.”

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