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Russia offers Saudi Aramco role in Arctic LNG project

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has announced that energy cooperation with Saudi Arabia would deepen if Riyadh took up an offer to participate in Russia's Arctic gas project.

Russia and Saudi Arabia joined forces in the past year in a deal with other nations to cut oil output and lift oil prices, although that effort has been undermined by rising production elsewhere.

To expand cooperation, the Minister said state-owned Saudi Aramco was offered a role in the Arctic LNG-2 project led by Russia's largest private gas producer Novatek, which aims to start building the first processing unit to produce LNG in 2022 – 2023.

Novak has previously said Japanese firms had shown an interest in the project, while Novatek has said Chinese companies and France's Total were studying it.

Novatek's head and its largest shareholder, Leonid Mikhelson, has said Novatek could offer up to 49% in Arctic LNG-2 to foreign investors.

Novatek, with Chinese partners and its shareholder Total, is building another gas liquefaction plant, Yamal LNG, that is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Russia is looking to increase its global LNG market share from just under 5% currently to 10% by 2020.

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