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Energy

Gazprom to cut 2009 gas output to all-time low

MOSCOW, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM will cut gas output in 2009 by 13.8 percent to the lowest in history on low demand at home and in Europe and much lower demand in the former Soviet Union, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The world’s largest gas producer, which supplies a quarter of Europe’s gas needs, will produce 474 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2009 with exports to Europe expected to fall by 10 percent to 142.5 bcm, Vedomosti business daily said, citing Gazprom documents.

The company has previously only given a range of expected production falls in 2009 -- saying it could fall as much as 18 percent. [ID:nLM942836]

Gazprom’s state-controlled board will meet later on Wednesday to discuss key financial and production targets.

The firm declined immediate comment following Vedomosti’s report, which also said the biggest fall in supplies this year will be to countries of the former Soviet Union, which will import 30 percent less gas, or 56 bcm.

Supplies to Russian customers will also fall by 11 percent to 268.4 bcm.

Gazprom has previously said its investment programme for 2009 will fall by a quarter from the initial plan to around 760 billion roubles and Vedomosti said every major project will undergo a cut in investment this year.

It will affect gas projects on the Yamal peninsula, which will see investment slashed by a third to 147 billion roubles.

The Prirazlomnoye field on the Kara Sea and Shtokman on the Barents Sea will have investment halved to 10.8 billion and 13 billion respectively.

The company also scrapped plans to buy back minority shareholders in power generator TGK-1 TGKA.MM, slashed spending plans for the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 28 percent to 31 billion roubles and cut investments in its venture with Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L, Sakhalin-2, by 60 percent to 19 billion roubles. (Editing by Michael Urquhart) (Moscow Newsroom, + 7 495 775 12 42, dmitri.zdannikov@reuters.com)

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