Gazprom to invest $61 million in Northwestern district in 2006

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ST.PETERSBURG, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom will invest 1.7 billion rubles ($61.05 million) to supply natural gas to the Northwestern Federal District in 2006, a presidential envoy said Saturday.

Ilya Klebanov said Gazprom would build only trunk gas pipelines, while branches to immediate consumers would be built by regions.

A Gazprom high-ranking official, Vasily Savchenko, said the company planned to build some 6,000 km (3,729 miles) of gas pipelines in the district until 2020, which would include the North European gas pipeline, the Shtokman deposit pipeline and the pipeline from the Yamal peninsula.

Savchenko said the gas consumption level could grow from the present 35 billion cu m annually now to 37-40 billion in 2010 and 40-49 billion cu m in 2020.

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