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Russia to become major player in global LNG production – energy minister

Russia to become major player in global LNG production – energy minister
The Russian Energy Ministry has forecasted major growth in domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) production to as much as 140 million tons per year, from its current annual output of 30 million tons.

“If we unveil the available potential, we can progress from current volumes of about 30 million tons of LNG production to the level of 120-140 million tons [per year],” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Thursday. He noted that the increase would allow Russia to “capture… up to 15-20 percent of the [LNG] global market.”

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“Since this segment will enjoy sound development, Russia has ample opportunities there in order to secure its market share, monetize reserves, create conditions for development of domestic technologies of gas production, its liquefaction and sales, through the use of the Northern Sea route and other directions,” Novak explained.

He said the Energy Ministry views the development of LNG production as an increasingly promising area in the domestic fuel and energy sector “from the standpoint of raising investment.”

“Speaking in general terms, we believe it will be possible to increase the amount of investment by almost 40 percent and bring it to nearly seven trillion rubles ($105.7 billion) by 2024 by applying incentivizing measures. This refers to the fuel and energy sector and such segments as oil and gas and power engineering,” Novak stated. According to the minister, last year’s investment in the Russian fuel and energy sector amounted to nearly five trillion rubles ($75.5 billion), comprised of 4.2 trillion rubles ($63.4 billion) into the oil and gas segment and about 800 billion rubles ($12.1 billion) into the power sector.

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Currently, Gazprom and Novatek are the only producers of LNG in Russia. They are soon to be joined by Rosneft and Exxon Mobil, who earlier today announced plans to build an LNG plant in Russia’s Far East.

This year, shareholders decided to build their own 6.2-million-ton LNG plant in De-Castries [Russia’s Khabarovsk Region]. Due to the geographical proximity of the two countries, its products will be in demand in Japan,” Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin said at a roundtable discussion with Japanese representatives at the Eastern Economic Forum.

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