UPDATE 2-Gassled partners to appeal ruling in $1.8 bln tariff row

Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:23am EDT
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* All international investors involved appeal decision

* Oslo court had ruled against them in September (Adds Infragas, Njord Gas Infrastructure CEO comments)

By Stine Jacobsen

OSLO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - A group of international investors will appeal against a ruling by an Oslo court regarding Norway's decision to cut natural gas pipeline tariffs, a decision the investors said would cost them 15 billion crowns ($1.8 billion) in lost earnings by 2028.

Challenging Norway's reputation as a predictable place to do business, four firms owned by funds including Allianz, UBS, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, argued that Norway illegally cut fees on the 8,000-km (5,000-mile) Gassled gas pipeline network.

Solveig Gas, Njord Gas Infrastructure, Silex Gas and Infragas, which hold a combined 45 percent stake in Gassled, were appealing, Solveig Gas said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Infragas and Njord Gas Infrastructure would continue to invest in Gassled in accordance with contractual commitments, but could shy away from new investments, their chief executives said after the companies publicised their decision to appeal.

Njord Gas Infrastructure said that had the tariffs not been cut, it would probably have bought a stake in the 480-km Polarled pipeline, whose construction was completed last month. The pipeline connects Statoil's Aasta Hansteen gas field to the Nyhamna onshore processing plant.

"There are other projects which typically would have been interesting before (the cut in tariffs), for example Polarled," Njord Gas Infrastructure CEO Birte Norheim told Reuters.   Continued...