Yamal and Total’s deal with Novatek

With French energy major, Total, buying into Novatek and the Yamal project, Business RT spoke with senior oil and gas analyst at IFC Metropol, Aleksandr Nazarov, about the implications of the news.

­RT:So, what will the two companies gain from this strategic alliance?

AN:“Well I would say the main beneficiary of that of course is Novatek.  Novatek now has a stake in its equity of an international oil and gas major.  Moreover Total is one of the leaders, one of the corporate leaders, in LNG globally.  So basically Total has enough financial and technological resources to implement, to get this project really.  Total now gets the step in one of the two current LNG projects, largest LNG projects in Russia.  And, you know, while being a leader in LNG globally, Total historically didn’t have anything in Russia yet.  Although the company wanted the stake in Novatek since 2006 even, it was pre IPO of Novatek.  But Total’s dreams come true only nowadays.”

RT:Can you tell us a bit more about the specifics of the Yamal project? How important is it?

AN: “Well I wouldn’t say huge. A few fields, a few gas fields in Russia, owned by Gazprom has larger resources of course.  But the point there is not the resources themselves.  The point is that Russia currently has only one LNG plant – at Sakhalin – and, actually this is supposed to be the second one, the largest one.  It is planned to be 50% more than the current Sakhalin LNG plant there.  So basically it will be the largest Russian LNG plant.  Moreover it will be unique in terms of geography.  It will be the most Northern LNG plant in the world.  And I think that the transportation logistics of LNG would be one of the greatest challenges for the companies.”