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Nafta posts 1996 results

The natural gas storage company Nafta Inc., located in Gbely, made a pre-tax profit of 885 million Sk on 3.4 billion Sk in sales last year, according to preliminary results, company officials announced. The figures are lower than 1995's postings of 1.07 billion Sk in pre-tax profits and sales of 3.7 billion Sk. "It was caused by a decline in mining activities and also lower prices for our final products," explained Nafta's director Juraj Grebáč.

This year, Nafta will focus on mining oil and gas, geological research, and on storing natural gas. At present Nafta's storage capacity is 1.7 billion m3 of gas, though Grebáč sees its potential being 10 million m3. It rents storage facilities to the state-owned gas company Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) and the Czech Gas Company. Total investments into new storage facilities will require 8 billion Sk.

"Investments worth 1 billion Sk which were announced by Druhá Obchodna representatives are just the beginning," Grebáč said. "The projects already in progress will see much higher investment by 2004. I do not exclude the possibility that Nafta will also rent storage facilities to the Russian [gas company] Gazprom. Recently, however, no contacts between the two companies have been made."

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