Chinese oil company considers investing in Russian Arctic LNG

A view of the Yamal LNG plant in the port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula, in the Russian Arctic, in December 2017. The Arctic LNG 2 plant is to be built less than 30 km from the Yamal plant, across the Gulf of Ob. (Maxim Zmeyev/AFP/Getty Images)
“They are interested”, says the Russian Minister of Energy.

Natural gas company Novatek is gaining growing support for its new grand Arctic initiative. The Arctic LNG 2 looks set to get investments also from China.

Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak confirms that talks are being held with the Chinese.

“We are talking about the Arctic LNG 2 project, […] and Chinese partners, among them the CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), are interested”, Novak told news program Vesti.

The comment was made during last week’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao, China. The interview is published also on the website of the Ministry of Energy.

France’s Total already involved

From before, project developer Novatek has struck a deal with energy major Total. The French company gets 10 percent of the project and will later have the possibility to increase its stake by another five percent.

The Arctic LNG 2 has a total development cost of $25.5 billion. It is based on the resources of the Utrennoye natural gas field, a 1,58 billion cubic meters deposit located on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Ob (Russian Arctic).

“Our rich resource base in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas provides unprecedented opportunities for participation in huge LNG projects, which will deliver LNG with competitive prices to key consumer markets”, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said after the deal with Total.

Chinese investors are from before well represented in the region. The China National Oil Company (CNPC) own a 20 percent stake in the nearby Yamal LNG project, and the Silk Fund controls another 9,9 percent.

The Arctic LNG 2 is to be ready for production by early 2023. It will be based on three project trains each with a production capacity of 6,1 million tons. Production will be based on gravity-based structures (GBS) that will be built at the Kola Yard outside Murmansk and towed across the Barents Sea and Kara Sea to the Gulf of Ob. The project’s Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is reportedly to be ready by late 2018 and a final investment decision taken before the end of 2019.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada ill-prepared for Arctic shipping boom, G7 sustainability summit hears, Eye on the Arctic

China: Qingdao plays pivotal role in China’s Arctic strategy, Cryopolitics Blog

Finland: Finnish president demands Arctic Summit to stop dangerous black carbon emissions, Yle News

Greenland: With Siumut’s re-election, will Greenland welcome Chinese investment?, Cryopolitics Blog

Norway: Beauty spot in Arctic Norway set to become Barents oil terminal, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Chinese bank invests in Russia’s Northern Sea Route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden reluctantly greenlights construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Radio Sweden

United States: Can a Northeast Chinese city be Alaska’s next big trade partner?, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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