Japanese Companies Buy 10% Stake in Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2

A Japanese consortium made up of Mitsui & Co (Mitsui) and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) have signed a deal with Novatek to buy a 10-percent stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project, Reuters reported.

The sales and purchase agreement was signed on Saturday in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Novatek, one of Russia’s largest natural gas producers, said in a statement.

According to the deal, Novatek will sell around two million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually to the Japanese partners. The agreement is set to be finalized in the near future pending regulatory approvals, according to the Russian energy firm.

“We welcome the consortium of Mitsui and JOGMEC as partners in our Arctic LNG 2 project,” said Novatek’s chairman of the management board, Leonid Mikhelson. He added that the participation of the Japanese firms in the project will “contribute to its successful implementation.”

Novatek, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, has already shipped LNG to the Asian partners. The first LNG cargo to Japan was delivered earlier this week from the Yamal LNG plant.

Novatek’s second plant for liquefying gas in the Arctic region has drawn interest from several foreign investors, including China, France, and Saudi Arabia. The plant is expected to be launched in 2022-2023, producing 19.8 million tons of LNG per year.

Last year, Japan’s Mitsui announced it had bought a 10% stake in Gazprom’s Baltic LNG project, which will include building an LNG plant on the Baltic Sea coast.

Gazprom and Mitsui are also partners in the Sakhalin II project, which includes the LNG export plant with a nameplate capacity of 9.6 million tons per year.