Novatek Boss Not Worried about U.S. Sanctions on Chinese Partner

The head of Russian gas giant Novatek, Leonid Michelson, has said he is not worried about the effects of U.S. sanctions against Iran which shook the Russian energy industry earlier this week, Interfax reported.

A fresh round of U.S. sanctions against Iran last weekend affected Russia’s liquified natural gas (LNG) exports through a web of international investments and joint ventures linked to the Yamal LNG plant in Russia’s Far East, which is operated by Novatek.

The sanctions were levied against a host of Chinese shipping companies for allegedly helping to transport boycotted Iranian oil. Among them were two subsidiaries of Cosco, which through a complex web of joint ventures and holding companies, has interests in a number of the tankers helping to ship the 16.5 million tons of LNG produced by the plant every year.

Mikhelson has downplayed the potential disruption, which initially caused a spike in freight costs for oil and LNG over the last week.

“I do not see any complications for Novatek … I do not understand what transportation in the Arctic zone has to do with the supply of Iranian oil,” he said, speaking at the high-level Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow.

Mikhelson recommitted the firm’s promise made Monday that the plant has “all the necessary capacities to ensure supplies of LNG to customers in according with contractual obligations within the agreed timeline.”