Ladies and Gentlemen,
another year of work amid macroeconomic headwinds driven by COVID-19-induced disruptions in the global economy is now over. Despite the volatility in our demanding industry, the LOTOS Group is in a stable financial condition while maintaining balance-sheet discipline.
The financial result in 2021 was attributable to earnings posted in both upstream and downstream. The LOTOS Group again generated a strong operating cash flow and achieved a further reduction in debt.
It is worth noting that last year we launched a complex and demanding project to upgrade the Gdańsk refinery. It entailed a two-month maintenance shutdown. In 2021, our refinery received the world’s first UCO filtration unit, and a new railway loading facility was commissioned.
We also continued to work towards our development goals. We launched the Oil Hydrocracker Project, which aims to improve the economics of crude oil processing.
In my summary of the past year, I should also mention our upstream operations. LOTOS Norge was awarded three new exploration and production licences by the Norwegian authorities. In July, cumulative oil production from the B8 field in the Baltic Sea exceeded one million tonnes. At the end of December last year, the first shipment of oil from the Yme field, where production started two months earlier, was unloaded in Rotterdam.
As part of its long-term commitment to corporate social responsibility, the LOTOS Group ran a number of projects to support local communities, cultural events and scientific research projects.