OSLO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - A Norwegian court will hear an appeal next week by four firms seeking to overturn a ruling that upheld a government decision to cut offshore gas transportation tariffs.
The firms - owned by Allianz, UBS, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board - said the slashed tariffs would cost them 15 billion crowns ($1.8 billion) in lost earning by 2028.
Solveig Gas, Njord Gas Infrastructure, Silex Gas and Infragas, which hold a combined 44 percent stake in pipeline owner Gassled, said Oslo’s decision was illegal and took it to court, but lost the case in September.
The government cut tariffs shortly after the four firms bought their stakes in Gassled in 2011 and 2012 from ExxonMobil , Total, Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell for a total of 32 billion Norwegian crowns ($3.8 bln).
Infragas and Njord Gas Infrastructure said they could shy away from new investment in the pipeline infrastructure just as Norway is seeking to expand the network northwards due to discoveries in the Arctic.
Norway exports gas from numerous offshore fields via an 8,000-km (5,000-mile) gas pipeline network, the largest offshore pipeline system in the world, to Britain and the continental Europe.
The appeal hearing is expected to last from Jan. 31 until April 7, the Borgarting Court of Appeals said in a statement on Friday. ($1 = 8.3633 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis)