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9 Jun, 2009 14:10

New projects have Gazprom eyeing North American market

Gazprom plans to take up to 10% of the North American LNG market by 2020, with the Yamal and Shtokman fields to be the main resource base for shipments to the U.S.

Gazprom sent its first tanker with LNG to the American coast in 2004. In the next ten years the company wants to become a serious LNG suppler with at least 10% of the U.S. market, according to Aleksandr Medvedev Director General of Gazprom’s export arm.

“The volumes we have now is just 0.5% of the gas consumption in the United States. But we believe that together with Shtokman and Yamal LNG, our share in the US and Canada market will grow up between 5 and 10%. In general we are targeting that 70% of the Shtockman volume could reach North America. We offer 9.6 million tones of LNG."

The global recession has recently sent volumes and prices of LNG lower, but Chris Finlayson, Head of Shell Russia, believes that’s temporary.

“Shell’s LNG market has been affected by the weakness of industrial demand, particularly in South Korea and Japan. One should separate a short-term weakness that is undoubtedly there, with future projects and demand from Japan Korea and China."

Shell – Gazprom’s partner in Russia’s first LNG plant on Sakhalin Island – says its possible to increase the plant’s capacity by 5% in the near future and even build a new one. Gazprom is also optimistic over the future of the LNG market, expecting demand to grow by 8% annually.

To boost its share in liquefied natural gas production Gazprom has begun a pre-investment survey on two new LNG projects in the Far East and the Yamal peninsula.