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Gazprom board endorses majority stake in Sakhalin II project

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Gazprom's board of directors approved Wednesday the purchase of a majority stake in a major oil and gas project in Russia's Far East, the energy giant said in a statement.
MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom's board of directors approved Wednesday the purchase of a majority stake in a major oil and gas project in Russia's Far East, the energy giant said in a statement.

In December 2006, Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] purchased 50% plus one share of Sakhalin Energy, the project operator of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project, off Russia's Pacific Coast, for $7.45 billion.

"The Board of Directors has approved the deals related to Gazprom's purchase of a majority stake in Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd," the statement said.

Sakhalin Energy is developing the $22 billion oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) project under a production-sharing agreement (PSA) with the Russian government, signed in 1994.

Previously, British-Dutch oil major Shell held a 55% stake in the operator, and Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi owned 25% and 20%, respectively.

Under the new deal, Shell sold Gazprom 27.5% of its shares, Mitsui sold 12.5%, and Mitsubishi 10% in the capital of Sakhalin Energy. Gazprom will pay cash for the purchase.

Sakhalin II comprises an oil field with associated gas, a natural gas field with associated condensate production, a pipeline, a liquefied natural gas plant and an LNG export terminal. Most of the LNG from the project will be exported to Japan, which is seeking to diversify its energy imports.

The two fields have estimated reserves of 150 million metric tons (1.1 billion barrels) of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

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