Russia's Transneft Cuts 2014 Investment Plan


Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has cut its investment plans by 5 percent on the back of a government decision to freeze transportation tariffs.

The government action was designed to fight inflation and curb the costs borne by energy companies.

Transneft said on Tuesday it now sees total investments for next year at almost 180 billion roubles ($5.5 billion), down from 189 billion previously planned but still up from the 161 billion spent in 2013.

"There are several reasons for cuts in the investment programme, and tariffs are one of them," Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin said.

Transneft, which carries oil via a 50,000 kilometre (31,000 miles) pipeline network, still plans to invest in constructing new pipelines, such as Kuyumba-Taishet, and to expand existing operations.

However Transneft officials have previously complained that the company's finances would suffer from the government decision to freeze transportation tariffs, its sole source of income.

Some analysts say the tariff freeze and cuts in the investment programmes of state monopolies, together with the completion of Winter Olympics construction projects, suggest a reduction in industrial orders in Russia next year.

($1 = 32.8117 Russian roubles)

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by David Holmes)



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