Gazprom to make investments of almost $30 billion in 2007

Initiatives

Russian state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom has revealed that its board of directors has approved the company’s restated investment program, which will see total investments of 779 billion rubles ($30,5 billion) in 2007, up 47% on the sum approved in December 2006, according to Russian daily RIA Novosti.

The company said that, at the same time, capital investments will account for 335.5 billion rubles ($13,14 billion), which is 25 billion rubles ($980 million), or 7%, less than the investment program approved in December 2006. According to the Gulf Times, the investment cuts will be in field and pipelines developments. Meanwhile, Gazprom’s long-term financial investments will amount to 444 billion rubles ($17,4 billion), which represents a 275 billion rubles ($10,77 billion), or 11%, increase on the investment program approved in December 2006. The Gulf Times said that this will see an increase in investments in acquisitions.

The company also restated its budget, and said that overall cash income and revenues will amount to 2.3 trillion rubles ($900 billion), which is a 255 billion rubles ($9,98 billion), or 9%, decrease on budget approved in December 2006. Gazprom also revealed that its financial borrowings will total 420 billion rubles ($15,74 billion), which, according to RIA Novosti, is a 366% increase.

Gazprom said that the increase in borrowings has been driven by the need to finance the acquisition of oil- and gas-fired power generation assets. Indeed, the need to amend and update the investment program and budget is due largely to the acquisition of shares in Sakhalin Energy, Beltransgaz and Mosenergo. According to the Gulf Times, Gazprom has been criticized by the industry on numerous occasions for investing too much in acquiring new assets, rather than on the upkeep of its existing assets and increasing its reserves. This has sparked concerns that the company may soon not have enough gas to supply demand. (energy-business-review.com)

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