At the end of what has been an exceptional period for us, Rusneftegaz held our annual awards ceremony in Moscow last week to recognize the achievements of our workforce over the past twelve months. In what was an enjoyable night attended by many of those associated with our organization, including senior staff, managers, directors and other stakeholders, we celebrated a year where we made strong progress towards realizing the objectives that we first published in 2015. Although it has been a timeframe without many notable highlights, we have continued to expand our enterprise internationally by pursuing opportunities available to us in North Africa, in addition to overhauling our web presence to befit a corporation of our caliber. Nevertheless, perhaps the most significant development in the preceding twelve months has been the expansion of our ongoing investment program, which we believe shall yield considerable growth in all areas of our business in the near future. In response to what has been an outstanding year for us, our Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aleksandr Filyurin, gave the following remarks:
“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the award winners, there were many excellent nominees this year, but all the awards have been rightly deserved. Each of them has been key in helping us make excellent progress this year, and we hope that soon we will be able to achieve all our current plans. To be direct with you, next year is going to be a very important year for us as a company. First and foremost, we intend to mark the twentieth anniversary of the formation of Rusneftegaz in an appropriate way, but we also have big plans in terms of our international expansion plan. It is very exciting. The board and I are forever grateful to everyone who works for this company, and we hope that they all stay here and help us realize our ambitions as a company.”
During the evening itself, our esteemed colleague Ivan Kovalchuk was named as our employee of the year, which he earned for his impressive work implementing changes on each of our oil production sites. For a six-week span, the engineer researched the most suitable variable-frequency drives for each of our pumpjacks, and was later instrumental in upgrading these components in a timely manner. In much the same vein, our young employee of the year award was bestowed upon Anatoliy Kuznetsov, who graduated first in his class and registered a perfect score in nineteen of his practical assessments. Whilst such phenomenal results are considered extraordinary amongst those recorded by his peers and predecessors, it is perhaps not as illustrious as the career of Pavel Kulikov, whose imminent retirement was also marked in the course of the proceedings. In a long and distinguished time with us, he joined Rusneftegaz in 1999 shortly after our formation, and since then has become one of our longest-serving employees. He will be fondly remembered by all his contemporaries, particularly those of whom he shared the cakes that his wife would regularly bake for him and his companions. We hope that he enjoys his newly discovered free time, and that all those who remain with us have a fruitful year ahead. As an organization, we are eternally indebted to all our personnel for their endeavors, and will continue to acknowledge the efforts of all those who exceed our expectations for the foreseeable future.