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    Russia's Novatek buys quarter of Yamal LNG project

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    Russia's biggest independent natural gas producer Novatek has executed an option to buy a 25.1% share in Yamal LNG, a company operating a Yamal liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic, for $526 million, Novatek said in a statement on Thursday without disclosing the seller.

    Russia's biggest independent natural gas producer Novatek has executed an option to buy a 25.1% share in Yamal LNG, a company operating a Yamal liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic, for $526 million, Novatek said in a statement on Thursday without disclosing the seller.

    The option is valid until July 1, 2012, it said in a statement.

    The probable seller is Cyprus' Varix Enterprises Ltd, controlled by gas giant Gazprom, which owns 25.1% in the project. Novatek currently holds 51% in Yamal LNG and has also recently received an option to buy a 23.9% share from Cyprus' Innecto Ventures Ltd owned by Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Pyotr Kolbin, estimated at $750 million.

    Earlier in March, France's major Total SA signed a deal to buy 12% of Novatek and 20% in the Yamal LNG project.

    MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti)

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