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US may get first LNG import from Russia

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Reuters are reporting that a vessel that may be carrying LNG from Russia’s new Yamal LNG export terminal could be heading to the US despite sanctions against the company that operates the Russian facility.

The tanker Chris. De Margerie picked up a cargo from Novatek PAO’s Yamal facility, Russia’s second LNG export terminal, on 9 December and dropped it off at National Grid Plc’s Isle of Grain LNG facility on 29 December.

Since then, Engie SA’s Gaselys LNG tanker picked up LNG from the UK facility on 30 December and is expected to arrive in Boston on 22 January.

It is possible that some of the LNG on the Gaselys is from Yamal, according to a report by S&P Global Platts.

If the vessel is carrying Russian LNG and ends up in the US despite the US sanctions against Novatek, it would be the first ever Russian LNG to go to the US.

The US imposed sanctions against Novatek in July 2014 due to Russia’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, making it harder for the Russian gas producer to access western financial markets.

Novatek is Russia’s largest independent gas producer.

Since Yamal entered service in December 2017, three vessels have picked up LNG cargoes: Chris. De Margerie on 9 December and 8 January, Boris Vilkitsky on 9 December and 22 December, and Fedor Litke on 29 December.

The Boris Vilkitsky dropped off its cargo from 22 December at Rotterdam. It is uncertain whether the Boris Vilkitsky actually picked up any gas on 9 December since it did not go anywhere after stopping by the port.

The Fedor Litke is heading to the Montoir LNG terminal in France.

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