* Platform for Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field could be from China-
* Yuzhno-Kirinskoye to start gas production in 2021 -
* Rosneft eyes its own LNG plant in Russia's Far East
* Novatek sees deficit on global LNG market after 2023
(Adds details, quotes, combines stories)
By Katya Golubkova
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK/PRIGORODNOYE, Russia, Sept 29 (Reuters) -
G azprom said on Thursday it plans to launch a third liquefied
natural gas (LNG) production train at the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant
in 2021, possibly fed by a newly drilled field, as Russian
companies seek to boost their share of the global LNG market.
Russia accounts for less than 5 percent of the global LNG
market but new plants are being built or considered by Novatek,
Gazprom and Rosneft.
Located at Prigorodnoye on Sakhalin island, Sakhalin-2,
Russia's sole LNG plant, operates two production lines with a
combined capacity of 10 million tonnes of LNG per year. The
third train should add another 5 million tonnes.
An obstacle to expanding the plant, operated by Gazprom,
Royal Dutch Shell, Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi, is the
Shareholders are considering two options: buying gas from
the Sakhalin-1 project led by ExxonMobil, developing new
resources or a combination. Yet, Sakhalin-1, where the state oil
firm Rosneft is also a shareholder, is aiming for its
own LNG plant.
Vsevolod Cherepanov, a Gazprom board member, said that the
first exploitation well at the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, viewed
as a source of fuel for Sakhalin-2 expansion, aimed to be
drilled in 2017, with production to start in test mode in 2021
and in full operation in 2022.
"The plateau of 21 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year is
expected to be reached in ten years. We will start from 3 bcm,"
Cherepanov said. For the third train to operate, a total of 7-8
bcm of gas per year is needed, he added.
"We also have Kirinskoye field with (expected) 5.5 bcm (a
year)... (But) 50 percent of volumes is enough to launch the
third train. We will increase volumes a year after that."
Cherepanov said talks were ongoing with a Chinese company
over a drilling platform for Yuzhno-Kirinskoye, but Gazprom may
also drill on its own.
In 2015, the United States restricted exports, re-exports
and transfers of technology and equipment to the
Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, making it harder to develop.
Gazprom executives have said they will find a way to bring
the field on stream. The company said this month it had
discovered a new gas deposit in the Sea of Okhotsk near Sakhalin
Cherepanov said that based on preliminary information from
one well, the field could contain over 40 bcm of gas, yet to be
proved, but could not replace Yuzhno-Kirinskoye as a source for
On Thursday, a LNG tanker could be seen on its way from the
facility in Prigorodnoye to Asia-Pacific markets. It takes 2-3
days to reach Japan or South Korea, major LNG consumers.
Olivier Lazare, head of Royal Dutch Shell in Russia, said on
Wednesday that shareholders at Sakhalin-2 had agreed on the
strategy of marketing LNG from the planned third train. He
declined to provide details.
Two sources close to the project said that there were no
commercial talks with buyers yet, though one source said
shareholders has agreed on general principles for marketing.
The proximity of Asian markets is behind the idea of
Sakhalin-1 shareholders to build their own LNG facility, with
initial capacity of 5 million tonnes a year and start after
"In the current pricing environment, it (the LNG project)
remains competitive but challenging," a source close to the
planned plant, known as Far East LNG, said.
Asian LNG spot prices LNG-AS are under $6 per mmBtu, down
from more than $20 between 2010 and 2014, due to soaring output
from Australia and the United States.
Given low prices were putting on hold plans for LNG
facilities, there could be a deficit on the market from 2023,
according to Mark Gyetvay, chief financial officer with Novatek
"If we look at Russia increasing its supplies of LNG it is
reasonable to assume that Sakhalin LNG can expand their
project," Gyetvay told Reuters this month.
Novatek plans to ship its first LNG cargoes from a new
facility in Russia's Yamal peninsula next year and is
considering building its second LNG facility, Arctic LNG-2.
"It's ironic that nobody raises these types of questions for
Australian LNG projects," Gyetvay said, when asked if the was
room for new Russian projects on world markets.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Ed Davies)