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Gazprom sees investments and debt repayments peaking in 2018 – 2020

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Reuters are reporting that Gazprom has announced that it expects debt repayments to peak in 2018 and investments to peak between 2018 and 2020 as it boosts spending on major pipeline projects.

Gazprom, which is involved in building three major gas pipeline projects to Europe, China and Turkey, frequently draws criticism from analysts who say it should rein in spending.

Gazprom expects its average annual investment until 2035 to be capped at US$17.5 billion.

Gazprom Group, which combines the gas business with the Russian firm’s oil and power generation units, expects to spend 1.28 trillion rubles on investment this year.

Gazprom Chief Financial Officer Andrey Kruglov told investors in New York that the company would continue to be a big spender in the coming years, adding that its debt repayments would reach a high of more than US$13 billion in 2018.

A negative net cash flow was fairly likely both this year and next.

The state-controlled Russian company is facing political resistance in Europe, particularly over Moscow’s role in the Ukrainian crisis, but it still plans to boost its share of the European gas market.

Gazprom, whose gas business relies on pipelines, is also facing steeper competition from producers of LNG, which can be shipped from sources around the world.

Gazprom’s three major pipeline projects are the Power of Siberia pipeline to China, Nord Stream-2 to Germany and TurkStream to Turkey and Southern Europe.

Gazprom aims to boost gas production and exports.

By 2020, the company said it would produce 15% more gas than in 2016. In 2018, it would produce 476 billion m3 of gas, compared to 471 in 2017.

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