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    Gazprom approves $33 bln investment program for 2009

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    Russian energy giant Gazprom approved its 2009 investment program of 920.4 billion rubles ($33 billion) at a board meeting on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom approved its 2009 investment program of 920.4 billion rubles ($33 billion) at a board meeting on Tuesday.

    After increases in July, Gazprom's investment program for 2008 totaled 821.7 billion rubles ($29 billion).

    The board of directors also endorsed a financial plan and cost optimization (reduction) program for 2009.

    Under the 2009 investment program, capital investment will amount to 699.88 billion rubles ($24.5 billion) and long-term financial investment 220.56 billion rubles ($7.8 billion).

    The 2009 budget provides for a total of 3.72 trillion rubles ($131.59 billion) in cash receipts and revenues, 3.8 trillion rubles ($134.42 billion) in liabilities, expenditures and investments, and 90 billion rubles in "financial borrowings."

    Budget surplus has been set at 0.5 billion rubles ($17.6 million).

    The 2009 cost optimization program will see costs cut by 11.3 billion rubles ($399.72 million).

    Gazprom identified the following areas as priorities: supplying gas to the Kamchatka Peninsula and Vladivostok and "pre-development" of the Bovanenkovo and Shtokman deposits, the gas and condensate fields at the Apt-Albian deposits in the Medvezhye field, the Zapadno-Pestsovaya area of Urengoy and the Kharvutinskaya area of the Yamburg field, as well as En-Yakhinskoye, Zapolyarnoye, Chayandinskoye and other deposits.

    The monopoly said its gas transportation priorities were: construction of the Bovanenkovo - Ukhta, Ukhta - Torzhok trunkline systems, the Gryazovets - Vyborg, Pochinki - Gryazovets, Murmansk - Volkhov gas pipelines, and the SRTO - Torzhok gas trunkline.

    According to Gazprom's English-language website, the long-term investment plan "contemplates the participation of Gazprom in the development and operation of the Shtokman and Prirazlomnoye fields, the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline sections beyond Russia, as well as in the Sakhalin II project."

    In addition, "the financing of projects implemented abroad (Vietnam, the Bay of Bengal in India, Turkmenistan) has been taken into consideration," the bulletin said.

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