Russia’s biggest independent natural gas producer Novatek has raised its net profit attributable to shareholders by more than 44% to $1.9 billion in 2011 from 2010’s $1.31 billion.

Production growth and higher domestic prices were credited for the income hike, with annual revenues up by half to $5.92 billion. 

Natural gas production totaled 47.52 billion cubic metres in 2011, up 27.5% on 2010’s 37.26 billion.

The producer also raised liquids output by 13.7% over the year to 4.111 million tonnes.

The earnings exclude a massive one-off gain on the sale of their 20% equity interest in Yamal LNG in the final quarter of the year for a net gain of some $2.1 billion.

While the initial purchase price for the stake was $425 million, the total gain includes future capital contributions as well as a hefty $1.15 billion increase in the fair value of Novatek’s remaining 80% interest.

The second largest gas producer in Russia, Novatek’s upstream operations are centered on the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region, the world’s largest natural gas producing area accounting for more than four fifths of Russia’s gas production and 16% of global output.

Its shares are listed in Moscow, London and New York.

Source: Upstream Online