(Adds details, quotes, context)
MOSCOW, Sept 22 Gazprom said on
Thursday it had discovered a new gas deposit during exploration
at the Kirinskoye field in the Sea of Okhotsk near Russia's
The field is crucial for Gazprom's plans to raise liquefied
gas production at its Sakhalin-2 plant on the island. It has not
disclosed the reserves of the newly discovered deposit.
Shell, which also has a stake in the LNG plant, may
also get a share in the Kirinskoye field as part of an asset
swap deal with Gazprom, though the prospects for this are
uncertain because of international sanctions for Russia's role
in the Ukraine crisis. These bar Western companies from
development of deep-sea gas deposits in Russia and from some oil
fields as well.
In 2015, the United States restricted exports, re-exports
and transfers of technology and equipment to the
Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, part of the wider Kirinskoye deposit.
Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev told the Reuters
Russia Investment Summit last week that Gazprom had not yet
chosen which assets it wanted to swap under its deal with Shell.
The Sakhalin-2 plant, which currently produces 10 million
tonnes of LNG per year, is due to add another 5 million tonnes
of LNG to allow Russia to come closer to its target of 5 percent
of the global LNG market.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Denis Pinchuk and
Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Jane Merriman)