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Russia’s Gas Producer Novatek Signs Deals with Japanese Firms

Leonid Mikhelson and Vladimir Putin

Russia’s No. 2 gas producer Novatek said that it signed on Friday upstream, liquefaction, and LNG supply deals with Japanese trading companies Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi Corp and Marubeni Corp.

Novatek signed the agreements on the sidelines of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. Japan is the world’s largest importer of LNG, while Russia seeks to increase its LNG market share worldwide.

In the Mitsui deal, the companies plan to pursue strategic cooperation in Russia’s upstream and liquefaction industries, as well as in LNG and liquid hydrocarbons supply, equipment and technology supply, and joint development of LNG markets.

In the press release announcing the agreement with Mitsubishi, Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson said:

“Japan is presently the largest consumer of LNG and has significant experience in LNG technologies, marketing and logistics. By joining our efforts with Mitsubishi Corporation, we will implement our long-term projects and strengthen the economic links between Russia and Japan”.

Under the agreement with Marubeni, the two companies vow to seek opportunities for strategic cooperation in the upstream and the midstream Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia, gas-related infrastructure, and supply of LNG.

The three new Japanese trading partners could become Arctic LNG-2 stakeholders, Reuters quoted Mikhelson as saying.

Related: Does Russia Really Want To Privatize Rosneft?

The Arctic LNG-2 project - expected to be commissioned by 2025 - is planned as a follow-up to the US$27 billion Yamal LNG plant slated to begin production at the end of next year. The Yamal LNG project has already pre-sold more than 95 percent of planned LNG volumes under long-term sales contracts.

Earlier this year, Mikhelson said at an investment forum that Novatek wanted to sell some of the gas from the future Arctic LNG-2 plant on the spot market.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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