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Russia energy ministry mulls Novatek LNG export request

MOSCOW -- Russia' s energy ministry is considering a request from Novatek  to grant an exception to Gazprom' s  monopoly on LNG exports, Russian newswires quoted the energy minister saying. "The request is under consideration, but there' s no final decision. We' ll prepare the relevant recommendations by the new year," Alexander Novak was quoted as saying.

Gazprom, is the only company allowed by law to export gas. But analysts have suggested Novatek could be granted permission to export, and Novatek coowner Gennady Timchenko told the Russian edition of Forbes last month that the company is lobbying for changes to the law. "Purely theoretically, such an option is possible with regard to LNG. But in what form, using what form of legal contracts, including with Gazprom Export, we' re now considering this," Mr. Novak was quoted as saying.

Novatek, which is part owned by Total, is building an LNG plant on the Yamal peninsula in Russia' s Arctic. Production is set to begin in 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin told Novatek chief executive Leonid Mikhelson to work with Gazprom' s export arm to secure foreign sales contracts.

Mr. Novak also said gas production in Russia would rise slightly to 677 Bcm this year from 671 Bcm in 2011. He said output could rise to 950 Bcmpy by 2030, with the growth in demand expected mainly from Asia.

Dow Jones Newswires

11/20/2012

 

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