Norway sued for $6.5bn over gas tariff cut
A group of international investors is suing Norway's government for slashing tariffs on the Gassled pipeline network by up to 90 percent, which they say could cost them 40bn kroner ($6.5bn) in lost earnings.
Solveig Gas Norway, which is 40 percent owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, 30 percent by a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and 30 percent by Allianz Capital Partners, issued its writ on Monday, the FT reported.
Trygve Pedersen, chief executive of Solveig, told the newspaper that the tariff cut was "a significant infringement of our right to receive a reasonable profit".
“The amendment decision represents a transfer of significant value from the infrastructure owners to owners of fields that have already been developed or to new fields which will produce gas irrespective of whether the tariff level is reduced,” he added.
Solveig spent $3bn buying its 24.1 percent stake in the pipeline network from Norway’s Statoil in 2011.
Njord Gas Infrastructure, a joint venture between Switzerland's UBS and France's CDC bank which owns an eight percent stake in the pipelines, filed a writ against the Norwegian ministry of petroleum and energy earlier this month.
Infragas Norge and Silex Gas Norway, two other investors, have joined the Solveig lawsuit.
The tariff cut, decided on in the last days of the Labour government, is designed to encourage more drilling in Norwegian waters.
“We take note of the fact that Solveig has announced legal proceedings. We have no further comment,” Lise Rist, from the ministry of petroleum and energy, told the FT.