(Adds detail, comments)
TOKYO Dec 16 Novatek, Russia's second
biggest gas producer, said on Friday it had signed agreements
with Japan's Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi Corp and
Marubeni Corp to cooperate in liquefied natural gas and
other energy sectors.
Japan, lacking fuel resources, is the world's largest
importer of the gas while Russia wants to boost its global LNG
market share, currently less than 5 percent.
Novatek's Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson said the
agreements focused on potential gas production, gas liquefaction
and liquefied natural gas transport.
Novatek is interested in LNG trading with the three Japanese
trading companies, he said.
Marubeni said in a statement that it would explore
opportunities to develop upstream and midstream areas for the
Arctic LNG-2 project which Novatek is newly implementing, while
Mitsubishi said the agreement with Novatek implies consideration
of alliances in "gas and other areas".
"The Asia Pacific region will grow by the fastest rates...
and the Japanese companies, with which we signed the agreement,
are present on this market," Mikhelson said, adding that all the
three Japanese partners could potentially become Arctic LNG-2
The Arctic LNG-2 plant would be a follow-up to the $27
billion Yamal LNG plant, scheduled to launch production at the
end of 2017 with a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes per year, with
output rising eventually to 16.5 million.
The Arctic LNG-2 project is due to be commissioned by 2025,
also with up to 16.5 million tonnes of LNG production.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; additional reporting by Aaron
Sheldrick; writing by Vladimri Soldatkin; Editing by Chris