NEWSWATCH: “Gazprom spends big to keep trillion dollar dream alive; Russian gas exporter ramps up borrowing and raids cashpile to maintain growth” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Gas Facility file photo

“In an effort to fight back, Gazprom is …. [r]amping up borrowing and raiding its … cash pile … splurging on critical new infrastructure …. it announced that it expected to spend 24 per cent more this year on long-term investment, capital expenditure and acquisitions previously forecast. … next year’s spending [is projected to] hit a record Rbs 1.28tn ($22bn), up 13 per cent on the revised 2017 outlay, and Rbs 1.4tn in 2018, in a bid to ensure growth in gas exports. These rose 26 per cent between 2014 and 2016 but the average price per cubic metre fell by around 45 per cent. Gazprom is simultaneously funding the construction of big new pipelines in three of Russia’s four corners. In the Far East, it is spending about $55bn on the 3,000km-long Power of Siberia pipeline to China and on developing gasfields. At the same time, it is building the 940km-long, $13bn Turkish Stream pipeline across the Black Sea, and has started work on the $11.5bn Nord Stream 2, a pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany. … US sanctions … after Russia’s invasion of Crimea and bolstered this summer with the specific targeting of ‘energy export pipelines’ … could leave Gazprom picking up the bill. …”

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[featured image is file photo]